House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirms trip to Asia, but no mention of Taiwan visit

Beijing, China — US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed on Sunday that she will visit four Asian countries this week, but made no mention of a possible stop in Taiwan that has angered Beijing, which claims the island republic as its own. of the ground.

Pelosi said in a statement that she is leading a congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan to discuss trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, security and “democratic governance.”

Pelosi has yet to confirm reports that she may visit Taiwan. Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against meddling in Beijing’s relations with the island in a phone call Thursday with his US counterpart, Joe Biden.

Beijing sees official US contact with Taiwan as encouragement to make permanent its decades-long de facto independence.

Pelosi, head of one of the three branches of the US government, would be the highest-ranking elected US official to visit Taiwan since then-Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997.

“Under President Biden’s strong leadership, America is firmly committed to smart, strategic engagement in the region, understanding that a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific is vital to prosperity in our nation and around the world,” the statement said. of Pelosi.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after the Communists won a civil war on the mainland. Both sides say they are one country, but disagree about which government is entitled to national leadership. They have no formal relations, but are linked by billions of dollars of trade and investment.

The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but maintains informal relations with the island. Washington is bound by federal law to see that Taiwan’s government has the means to defend itself.

Beijing has not given details on how it will react if Pelosi goes to Taiwan, but the Defense Ministry warned last week that the military would take “strong measures to prevent any outside interference”. The Foreign Office said “those who play with fire will perish by it”.

The ruling party’s military wing, the People’s Liberation Army, has flown increasing numbers of fighter jets and bombers around Taiwan to intimidate the island.

“Multi-type fighter jets of the Air Force are flying around the precious island of the homeland, mitigating and strengthening the ability to maintain national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” military spokesman Colonel Shen Jinke said on Sunday, referring to Taiwan.

Pelosi said her delegation included U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Mark Takano, Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Suzan DelBene, vice chair of the House Ways and Means Committee; Raja Krishnamoorthi, member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee, and Andy Kim, member of the Armed Services Committees and Foreign Affairs of the Parliament.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirms trip to Asia, but no mention of Taiwan visit Source link House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirms trip to Asia, but no mention of Taiwan visit

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