Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan on Tuesday
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore to discuss the situation in the region, the war in Ukraine, and climate change. “Prime Minister Lee stressed the importance of stable U.S.-China relations for regional peace and security,” the Singapore Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The main intrigue of this Asian tour by Pelosi is whether or not she will make a stop in Taiwan, after vociferous warnings from Chinese authorities about the consequences of such a visit.
Pelosi plans to land in Taiwan in the coming days and stay there overnight, though that stop is not part of her public schedule. Reuters wrote that it could not confirm the report. Taiwan was not included in Pelosi’s official itinerary released Sunday. Pelosi’s meetings in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan were announced there.
Liberty Times, reported that Pelosi will visit Taiwan’s parliament Wednesday morning before continuing her tour of Asia. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, said it did not comment on reports of Pelosi’s travel plans.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a daily press briefing Monday that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan would be a “gross interference in China’s internal affairs” and warned that it would lead to “very serious events and consequences.”
China views visits by U.S. officials to Taiwan as a signal of support for independence advocates on the island.
Commenting on China’s threats, White House National Security Speaker John Kirby told CNN on Monday that the Biden administration would do everything to ensure Pelosi’s safety if she decided to visit Taiwan.
Pentagon officials said earlier that the U.S. military is working around the clock to monitor any Chinese movements in the region and is developing a plan to ensure the security of the speaker of the U.S. lower house of Congress in case she visits the island.
Washington has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but under the Taiwan Relations Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1979, the U.S. has pledged to provide self-defense assets to Taiwan.
The last visit of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to Taiwan was by Republican Newt Gingrich in 1997.