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Donald Trump says what was Nancy Pelosi ‘doing in Taiwan’

Tensions have continued to mount between the US and China in the Indo-Pacific Region in recent weeks. Relations between Beijing and Washington are at rock bottom after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week – the most senior US politician to do so in 25 years. The senior Democrat’s brief trip to the island nation as part of her tour of the region was hugely controversial and was not approved by US President Joe Biden.

The Chinese Communist Party views democratic Taiwan as a breakaway province that will one day be reunified with mainland China, by force if necessary.

During a meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday, Ms Pelosi said America’s intention to “preserve democracy” in Taiwan “remains ironclad”.

But her trip sparked a furious response from China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, who dubbed it “manic, irresponsible and irrational”.

Beijing accompanied its bold rhetoric with aggressive military action by holding drills around Taiwan last week as it sent fighter jets and ships across the median line in the strait between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Amid the tensions, a US expert has warned that there is a “high risk” of war between the US and China, due to Beijing’s aggressive behaviour towards Taiwan and its actions in the adjacent South China Sea, over which China has far-reaching sovereignty claims.

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US ‘worried’ about war with China: Insider exposes ‘high risk’ of Indo-Pacific conflict (Image: GETTY)

Pelosi: With Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen

Pelosi: With Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen (Image: GETTY)

Dr John Callahan is a former diplomat and State Department spokesperson, who now works as a military adviser and a dean at New England College in the US.

Speaking to Express.co.uk about the likelihood of a US-Chinese conflict in the region, he said: “I think there is a significant risk.”

He added: “If you read one level below on the news, the US is quite worried and have quite a bit deployed in the Indo-Pacific Command, which is the India Pacific region.

“I think the risk is quite high. And of course, the flip side of all this is China may also begin to think the West is too distracted in Ukraine.

“That would then be the time to attack and so we have to guard against that as well.”

Taiwan: Country's military conducts drill

Taiwan: Country’s military conducts drill (Image: GETTY)

The US maintains a delicately poised diplomatic policy of so-called “strategic ambiguity” over Taiwan.

This means that Washington is deliberately vague on whether it would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack.

The US also observes the “One-China” policy, meaning that it recognises only one Chinese government.

Washington therefore only has formal ties with Beijing, rather than the Taiwanese capital Taipei.

However, in May, there was confusion over whether the US now takes a stronger stance on Taiwan after comments by Mr Biden.

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Taiwan: Soldier holds machine gun and grenades

Taiwan: Soldier holds machine gun and grenades (Image: GETTY)

Asked whether the US would defend Taiwan militarily, the US President replied: “Yes…That’s the commitment we made.”

However, American officials swiftly rowed back on the US leader’s remarks, insisting that its longstanding policy of “strategic ambiguity” had not changed.

But despite insisting nothing has changed, the US quietly doubled its unofficial military presence in Taiwan last year.

The 20 American personnel formerly on the island increased to 39 in 2021, according to Voice of America.

Meanwhile, the US has tens of thousands of troops stationed throughout the Indo-Pacific, including in Japan and South Korea.

South China Sea: Contested region mapped

South China Sea: Contested region mapped (Image: EXPRESS)

According to Dr Callahan, if the US-Chinese tensions were to spill over into an armed conflict involving some of these troops, the result would be a “bloodbath”.

He said: he said: “The Americans absolutely are more capable and could defeat China if the full power of the US armed forces was actually in the Pacific and actually fighting them where they are.

“The problem is, they would get some early licks in because the US is spread all over the world.

“So, full capability, it would be a bloodbath, but we would win.

“But [in the] short term, the Chinese probably could achieve limited objectives simply because all of our forces aren’t there.”