News Update

Reports: Speaker Pelosi will travel to Taiwan despite warnings from China

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will travel to Taiwan and meet with government officials, according to numerous reports citing people familiar with the matter both in the U.S. and in Taiwan. Pelosi arrived in Singapore Monday as part of her Asian trip.

The potential visit to Taiwan is not on the Speaker’s itinerary and there was no mention of it when she arrived in Singapore. The reports did, however, prompt a response from Beijing, which claimed it could further strain the already contentious U.S.-China relations.

“If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan, it will grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs, severely undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, trample on the one-China principle, gravely threaten peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, and undermine China-U.S. relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a briefing early Monday morning. “It will lead to a very serious situation and consequences.”

Zhao also issued a warning to the U.S., adding “the People’s Liberation Army will never sit by idly.”

If Pelosi does go to Taiwan, she will be the first House Speaker to do so in 25 years.

The White House responded to reports Monday, claiming the administration’s policy toward China and Taiwan has not changed.

“The speaker has the right to visit Taiwan. And a speaker of the house has visited Taiwan before, without incident,” John Kirby, the Strategic Communications Coordinator for the National Security Council said during a White House press briefing. “As have many members of congress, including this year. The world has seen the United States government be very clear that nothing has changed, nothing has changed about our one China policy.”

Reports indicate officials are working to secure Pelosi’s safety on the trip, while the Taiwan official said she is expected to stay overnight during the visit.

Outside of Singapore, Pelosi’s itinerary includes visits to South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.

China’s policy toward Taiwan is the “One China” policy, refusing to accept Taipei’s independence. The United States officially supports the policy but has committed to defending Taiwan’s interests.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

Shannon Longworth:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has begun her diplomatic trip in Asia with a stop in Singapore, but it’s still unclear whether she’ll visit Taiwan.

As we all wonder, a Chinese official came out today, saying his military will “not sit idly by” if Pelosi visits the island.

China has continually warned the U-S not to support Taiwan’s independence…Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to bring Taiwan back into the fold in an act of “reunification.”

In fact, just last week, Xi told President Biden not to “play with fire.”

The White House is downplaying the potential for conflict.

John Kirby:

“The speaker has not confirmed any travel plans. And it is for the speaker to do so, and her staff. The speaker has the right to visit Taiwan. And a speaker of the house has visited Taiwan before, without incident. As have many members of congress, including this year. The world has seen the United States government be very clear that nothing has changed, nothing has changed about our one China policy.”

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will travel to Taiwan and meet with government officials, according to numerous reports citing people familiar with the matter both in the U.S. and in Taiwan. Pelosi arrived in Singapore Monday as part of her Asian trip.

The potential visit to Taiwan is not on the Speaker’s itinerary and there was no mention of it when she arrived in Singapore. The reports did, however, prompt a response from Beijing, which claimed it could further strain the already contentious U.S.-China relations.

“If House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan, it will grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs, severely undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, trample on the one-China principle, gravely threaten peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, and undermine China-U.S. relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during a briefing early Monday morning. “It will lead to a very serious situation and consequences.”

Zhao also issued a warning to the U.S., adding “the People’s Liberation Army will never sit by idly.”

If Pelosi does go to Taiwan, she will be the first House Speaker to do so in 25 years.

The White House responded to reports Monday, claiming the administration’s policy toward China and Taiwan has not changed.

“The speaker has the right to visit Taiwan. And a speaker of the house has visited Taiwan before, without incident,” John Kirby, the Strategic Communications Coordinator for the National Security Council said during a White House press briefing. “As have many members of congress, including this year. The world has seen the United States government be very clear that nothing has changed, nothing has changed about our one China policy.”

Reports indicate officials are working to secure Pelosi’s safety on the trip, while the Taiwan official said she is expected to stay overnight during the visit.

Outside of Singapore, Pelosi’s itinerary includes visits to South Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.

China’s policy toward Taiwan is the “One China” policy, refusing to accept Taipei’s independence. The United States officially supports the policy but has committed to defending Taiwan’s interests.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

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