US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (second from bottom) leaves the Shangri-La Hotel after a reception hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore on August 1, 2022.
Rosslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to visit Taiwan on Tuesday, two people familiar with the matter said. He warned not to “stand by.”
Pelosi, who kicked off her Asia trip in Singapore on Monday, was scheduled to spend Tuesday night in Taiwan, sources said.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it had no comment on reports about Pelosi’s travel plans.
Amid widespread speculation about whether she will make a stop in Taiwan, Pelosi’s office said Sunday it would lead a congressional delegation to the region, including visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. She doesn’t mention Taiwan.
A source told Reuters that the United States has notified some allies of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Another source said Pelosi had planned to meet with an outspoken activist on China’s rights issues during her stay in Taiwan.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan would amount to “grave interference in China’s internal affairs” and warned of “very serious progress and consequences”.
At a press conference, Secretary of State Zhao said, “China stands by, the People’s Liberation Army will never stand by, and China will take decisive action and strong countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.” I would like to convey this to the United States again,” he said. Daily briefing.
Asked what measures the PLA might take, Mr. Zhao said, “If she has the courage to go, let’s see.”
China sees the US official’s visit to Taiwan as sending an encouraging signal to the island’s pro-independence camp. Although Washington does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it is obligated by U.S. law to provide Taiwan with means of self-defense.
Pelosi, the second longest-serving U.S. president in the line of succession to criticize China, is scheduled to visit as relations between Washington and Beijing sour. Republican Newt Gingrich was the last Speaker of the House to visit Taiwan in 1997.
A video showing military drills and preparations by the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command was posted on a state media site Monday night, urging troops to “stand by in battle formation, prepare to fight under command, and Bury all incoming enemies.” enemy. ”
The White House dismissed China’s remarks as baseless and inappropriate. “It’s not uncommon for congressional leaders to travel to Taiwan,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in an interview with CNN early Monday morning.
“We as a country should not be intimidated by its rhetoric or potential actions. This is an important visit for the Chair and we will do everything we can to support her…”
In a phone call last Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned US President Joe Biden that Washington should adhere to the One China Principle and that “those who play with fire will perish with it.”
Biden told Xi that U.S. policy toward Taiwan has not changed, and that Washington strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
On Monday, as local media had speculated, Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang did not directly answer when asked if Pelosi would visit on Thursday.
“We always welcome distinguished guests from abroad to visit our country,” the prime minister told reporters in Taipei.
Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing, said a Pelosi visit to Taiwan would prompt Beijing’s strongest countermeasures in years, but he said it would spark a major military conflict. I didn’t expect that.
“China has not repeated in vague terms its opposition to Taiwan separatism. I’ve done it over and over again,” he said. .
“I am confident that neither side will deliberately engage in military action that could lead to significant security risks, unless it is accidental.”
On Monday, Pelosi and her delegation met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to discuss issues such as cross-strait relations, the Ukraine war and climate change, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Prime Minister Lee stressed the importance of stable US-China relations for regional peace and security,” the paper said.
Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory and has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control. Taiwan rejects China’s sovereignty claims, arguing that only its own citizens can decide the island’s future.
Last Wednesday, Biden told reporters that the U.S. military doesn’t think President Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is “a good idea right now.”
On Monday, CNN, citing unidentified Taiwanese and U.S. officials, said Pelosi is expected to land in Taiwan in the coming days and stay overnight.