US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several other congressmen will visit Singapore on Monday, their first official stop in a high-profile Asia tour that has attracted international attention over speculation she could visit Taiwan.
The delegation’s two-day visit to Singapore will include meetings with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, along with a number of ministers, according to Singapore’s Foreign Ministry.
Pelosi is also expected to attend a cocktail reception held Monday afternoon by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the city-state.
Before arriving in the Indo-Pacific, Pelosi’s delegation stopped in Hawaii, according to a statement from her office on Sunday.
The delegation also plans to visit Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, where high-level meetings will be held to address “shared interests”, including trade, the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. according to Pelosi’s office.
The statement made no mention of Taiwan.
There has been speculation for weeks that Pelosi, who is second in the line of presidential succession behind the vice president, is planning to visit the self-governing democratic island.
The Chinese Communist Party, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory – despite never having checked it – has repeatedly warned against Pelosi’s visit to the island, promising to take “resolute and firm measures” if the trip goes ahead.
Some US officials are concerned that the reported visit will be met with a military response from China, potentially leading to the strait’s worst crisis in decades.
During a phone call between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping last Thursday, Xi warned the US not to “play with fire” on the Taiwanese issue — though neither side has confirmed whether Pelosi’s reported plans were discussed. . The preparation of the conversation preceded the reports of the possible trip.
When asked about Pelosi’s possible visit on Monday, Taiwan’s Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang did not confirm whether she would stop there and reiterated that Taipei welcomes foreign guests. “The government warmly welcomes all foreign VIP friends to visit our country,” Su told reporters.
In addition to Pelosi traveling as part of the Congressional Delegation, Chairman Gregory Meeks (Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee), Chairman Mark Takano (Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs), Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, Congresswoman Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Congresswoman Andy Kim.
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