Pelosi confirms trip to Asia, but does not mention Taiwan

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed she is leading a delegation to Asia, but made no mention of a stop in Taiwan, a possible visit that has exacerbated already tense relations between Beijing and Washington and led to threats from China.

The California Democrat’s office said in a statement on Sunday that the speaker and the congressional contingent will visit Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan to “hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can advance our shared interests and values, including peace and security.” security, further promoting economic growth and trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, human rights and democratic governance.”

The statement did not address a controversial potential shutdown in Taiwan.

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China considers self-governed Taiwan part of its territory and has threatened to reunite the country, if necessary by military force.

China’s Xi Jinping warned President Biden during a 137-minute phone call last week about meddling with Taiwan amid news of Pelosi’s trip.

A man uses a magnifying glass to read a headline reporting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Asia, while standing at a newsstand in Beijing.
Andy Wong/TBEN

“The stance of the Chinese government and the people on the Taiwan issue is consistent, and resolutely protecting China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese,” the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. Foreign Affairs in a reading of Thursday’s appeal. .

“Public opinion cannot be defied. Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is to be hoped that the US has a clear eye for this.”​

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On Sunday, the People’s Liberation Army, which has been flying fighter jets into Taiwan’s airspace for months to intimidate the island, said it will “protect national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Military spokesman Shen Jenke said the Air Force has a range of fighter jets capable of circling “our motherland’s precious island” in a reference to Taiwan.

A Chinese government propagandist on Saturday deleted a tweet claiming that Pelosi could shoot down Pelosi’s plane if it is escorted by US military planes to Taiwan.​

“If US fighter jets escort the plane from Pelosi to Taiwan, so be it” [an] invasion,” tweeted Hu Xijin, a columnist for the Chinese Communist Party-controlled Global Times. “The [People’s Liberation Army] has the right to forcibly dislodge the plane belonging to Pelosi and the US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making tactical movements of obstacles.”
“If they’re ineffective, shoot them,” Hu added in the now-deleted message.

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Pelosi, behind only Vice President Kamala Harris in the line of presidential succession, is said to be the highest-ranking legislator to visit Taiwan since House Speaker Newt Gingrich traveled there in 1997.

A guard stands by a sculpture of the flag of the Chinese Communist Party
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned President Biden about the visit during a telephone call.
Ng Han Guan/TBEN

Accompanying Pelosi are representatives Gregory Meeks of New York, Mark Takano of California, Suzan DelBene of Washington, Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Andy Kim of Pennsylvania.

With Post wires