Nancy Pelosi will visit Taiwan, despite threats from China

Nancy Pelosi will travel to Taiwan, despite threats from China

In this photo from Singapore's Ministry of Communications and Information, Nancy Pelosi meets Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong. Ms Pelosi arrived in Singapore on Monday, but plans to visit Taiwan.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan despite military threats from China, a US official and a Taiwanese representative confirmed to CNN.

Ms. Pelosi is expected to stay one night on the island, but details surrounding her visit have not been released. This will be the first by a House of Representatives spokesperson in Taiwan for 25 years. Republican Newt Gingrich was the last Speaker of the House of Representatives to visit Taiwan, in 1997.

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian , said the Chinese military would not stand idly by Ms. Pelosi's visit, and that it would have a huge political impact.

For several weeks, reports that Pelosi could travel to Taiwan have heightened tensions between the two countries. If the Speaker of the House of Representatives […] visits Taiwan, China will certainly take firm and vigorous countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, Zhao Lijian warned Monday.

< p class="e-p">The Chinese military will not sit idly by, he further warned.

China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, and the status of the island is a sensitive subject in Sino-US relations. The question of Taiwan's status remains sensitive, and is an important topic in China-US relations, Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang said at a security forum in Aspen in July. /p>

Last week, US President Joe Biden spoke by telephone with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for more than two hours, but tensions remain between Washington and Beijing. President Xi then warned Mr. Biden not to play with fire.

Earlier in July, President Biden indicated that the US military opposed the visit of Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan, but he has since refused to explain what the reasons were. The White House has noted for its part that it doesn't carry much weight in Ms. Pelosi's decision to travel to Taiwan — which she will.

But China considers that the visits of American representatives to Taiwan encourage the separatists, which angers Beijing. Washington also has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is nevertheless legally obliged to provide it with the means to defend itself.

Nancy Pelosi is critical of China . His visit to Taiwan comes at a time when relations between the two countries have deteriorated.

The position of the United States with regard to Taiwan is a so-called strategic ambiguity diplomacy, since it recognizes only one Chinese government, that of Beijing. Washington supports Taipei, but refrains from saying whether or not the United States would militarily defend the island in the event of a Chinese invasion.

Ms. Pelosi's visit will complicate the task of American diplomacy, which seeks to appease relations with China.

On Monday, 4,000 American and Indonesian soldiers began a military exercise, while ensuring that these maneuvers were not aimed at any particular country.

For its part, the Taiwanese army carried out the week past its largest annual military exercise, including mock interceptions of Chinese attacks on the island.

The American aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its flotilla left Singapore for the South China Sea. However, according to the US Navy, this mission was already scheduled.

China's response came on Saturday, when a live ammunition military exercise was held in the Taiwan Strait — but very close to China's shores.

Washington on Friday called on Chinese leaders for calm.

“We have many differences when it comes to Taiwan, but over the past forty years we have managed those differences and done so in a way that has preserved peace and stability.

—Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State

In Taiwan, opinions are divided on the visit of Ms. Pelosi. Senior figures from Taipei's ruling party and the opposition have said the island should not give in to Chinese pressure.

If Pelosi were to cancel or postpone his trip, it would be a victory for the Chinese government and for Xi, as it would show that the pressure he exerted had some desired effects, said Hung Chin-fu of the ;National Cheng Kung University of Taiwan.

Nancy Pelosi kicked off her Asia tour with a stop in Singapore, where she met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who hosted the called upon to develop stable relations with China. Ms. Pelosi is also due to meet with the President of Singapore later.

Ms. Pelosi will use her visit to several Asian countries to reaffirm America's unwavering commitment to its allies and friends in the region. In Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, we will hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can promote our common values ​​and interests, commented Pelosi, who did not mention her visit. in Taiwan.

With information from CNN, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters

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