Update(10:55ET): The vast majority of breathless Western media reports about Nancy Pelosi’s now “imminent” Taiwan visit are being sourced to Taiwanese media and officials; and among Taiwanese outlets it seems to race is on to produce more and more specific detailed predictions. For example, this is the latest out of Taiwan tabloid ETtoday – picked up by international news wires: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will arrive at Songshan Airport Tuesday evening at 10:30pm local time.
At the same time The Wall Street Journal is reporting Monday that “she’s definitely coming” – based on an unnamed source in contact with top Taiwan officials:
People whom Mrs. Pelosi is planning to meet with in Taiwan have been informed of her imminent arrival, this person said, though some details remain in flux. Some of Ms. Pelosi’s meetings have been scheduled for Tuesday evening, but most are set for Wednesday, the person said, adding that they include, but aren’t limited to, Taiwanese government officials. “She’s definitely coming,” the person said. “The only variable is whether she spends the night in Taipei.”
And now being reported by Bloomberg – minutes following the WSJ:
PELOSI IS EXPECTED TO VISIT TAIWAN TUESDAY: PEOPLE FAMILIAR SAY
And yet Pelosi herself – not to mention the White House – could likely be very much on the fence given China’s military has ramped up threats, and is now on a war-footing, based particularly on harsher quotes coming out in state media on Monday. Taiwan’s defense ministry has said “no comment” when asked to confirm is she’s arriving.
The Chinese army will surely eliminate Pelosi’s visit’s consequence through the escalation of military operations. As a result, this will make her dejected and humiliated: Global Times Commentator Hu Xijin#HuSays pic.twitter.com/6MrLRmNX3O
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 1, 2022
China has also announced closure of waters in the South China Sea amid ongoing PLA navy drills.
After weekend drills, specifically in response to reports of a Pelosi Taiwan visit, more have been announced, set from Tuesday through Friday.
The maritime administration in Qinglan, South China’s Hainan, issued a warning on Monday and prohibited entry to an area in the South China Sea due to military exercises from Tuesday to Saturday. pic.twitter.com/xHxRRd4mBn
— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) August 1, 2022
This as the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group continues to patrol waters near Taiwan – possibly preparing to respond to any aggressive acts from China which could threaten a potential Pelosi visit to the self-ruled island.
— SCS Probing Initiative (@SCS_PI) August 1, 2022
* * *
US equity markets are accelerating their losses suddenly this morning (after briefly touching unchanged from overnight weakness) following headlines that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reportedly expected to land in Taiwan on Tuesday night.
Liberty Times reports, citing people familiar with the matter, Pelosi plans to visit the Legislative Yuan and meet lawmakers on Wednesday.
However, the US and Taiwan are still preparing for last minute changes, the paper adds.
Futures were sliding already but the Pelosi headlines pushed them to overnight lows…
Bonds are bid with 10Y Yields tumbling back to unchanged…
The offshore Yuan also tumbled on the report…
Interestingly, crude prices are notably lower (after disappointing China PMIs) and are accelerating lower after the Pelosi-Taiwan headlines…
China meanwhile Monday once again warned its military is prepared to take action if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi follows through on a landmark visit to Taiwan.
According to her published itinerary, which does not as yet name Taiwan – this could see her flying to Taiwan after her delegation visits Malaysia and just ahead of going to South Korea.
Amid Chinese PLA drills ongoing in regional waters, and with the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group also in the South China Sea, Nikkei writes that “The U.S. military is moving assets, including aircraft carriers and large planes, closer to Taiwan ahead of an anticipated but unconfirmed visit to the island by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”
— Hao HONG 洪灝, CFA (@HAOHONG_CFA) August 1, 2022
The PLA military also on Monday issued a fresh propaganda video saying essentially ‘we’re ready for war’ – consistent with prior messages circulating on official Chinese military channels…
NOW – China’s People’s Liberation Army just posted a new video on WeChat ahead of Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan.pic.twitter.com/QaiFcdGCn1
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) August 1, 2022
As FT notes additionally of PLA muscle-flexing as a warning to Pelosi: “China’s PLA also on Saturday carried out live-fire exercises in Pintang, a coastal area in south-eastern Fujian province about 125km from Taiwan. State media also broadcast footage of a Chinese destroyer firing its weapons in the South China Sea, through which the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier group is believed to be sailing after visiting Singapore.”
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