US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan, defying China’s threats, according to a senior Taiwanese government official and a US official, CNN reported on Monday.
Pelosi will make a symbolic stop in Taipei as part of her tour of Asia despite warnings from Biden administration officials, who are worried about China’s response to such a high-profile visit.
The stop, the first for a US House speaker in twenty-five years, is not currently on Pelosi’s public itinerary and comes at a time when US-China relations are already at a low point, CNN says.
The Taiwanese official added that she is expected to stay in Taiwan overnight. It is unclear when exactly Pelosi will land in Taipei.
The US official added that Defense Department officials are working around the clock on monitoring any Chinese movements in the region and securing a plan to keep her safe.
China warns Pelosi over Taiwan visit
During a regular foreign ministry briefing Monday, China warned against the “egregious political impact” of Pelosi’s planned visit to the self-governing island that China claims as a part of its territory, and reiterated that its military “won’t sit by idly” if Beijing feels its “sovereignty and territorial integrity” is being threatened.
“We would like to tell the US once again that China is standing by, and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters when asked about the fallout from Pelosi leading a congressional delegation to Taipei. “China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“As for what measures, if she dares to go, then let’s wait and see,” Zhao added.
Though China’s military did not mention Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said it would “bury incoming enemies” in a video posted online Monday showing off its weaponry and fighting tactics.
“Firmly stand by and ready for the fighting command; [bury] all incoming enemies,” a message posted on Weibo said.