America’s allies in Asia reacted to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan with a mixture of caution and criticism.
In Australia, the foreign minister, Penny Wong, urged “all parties” to de-escalate tensions. She appeared to signal that both China and the United States should try to calm things down after Ms. Pelosi’s splashy visit to Taiwan.
Implicit in her statement was that the real show — a demonstration of China’s military muscle — could start after the speaker’s departure. China has pledged to launch military exercises closer than ever to Taiwan, a worrying prospect for the United States and Asia broadly.
“We should continue with others in the region to urge the maintenance of peace and stability in the region and, in particular, across the Taiwan Strait,” Ms. Wong said.
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, said Wednesday that the nation had concerns about China’s military exercises encroaching on its exclusive economic zone and called for “a peaceful resolution of the cross-straits problem.”
In Singapore, in the Straits Times, a newspaper that generally reflects the government’s views, an article described Ms. Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan as “showmanship.”
“Pelosi showmanship worsening frosty US-China ties,” said a headline that was part of an article in the newspaper Wednesday about how Ms. Pelosi was raising tensions between the U.S. and China.
“The Taiwan trip would be the latest pressure point in U.S.-China relations, but also an opportunity for Mrs. Pelosi to drum up political support back in the U.S.,” the article said
The island city-state, which grants port access to the American Navy, welcomed Ms. Pelosi on Monday on the first leg of her Asian tour. She met there with Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, and attended a reception held by the American Chamber of Commerce.
Other not-so-friendly nations proffered a more pointed critique of the visit — and reinforced their support for China.
North Korea slammed the trip, calling it “imprudent interference” that is “arousing serious concern of the international community,” according to South Korean news agency Yonhap. “We vehemently denounce any external force’s interference in the issue of Taiwan, and fully support the Chinese government’s just stand to resolutely defend the sovereignty of the country and territorial integrity.”
Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, denounced the visit as a manifestation of Washington’s approach with Ukraine.
“It’s a desire to prove to everyone and all their impunity and to demonstrate their permissiveness,” he said. “I do whatever I want — something like that, as I seen no other reason to create such an irritant practically for nothing, being perfectly aware of what it means for China.”
Ben Dooley contributed reporting.