China warns Nancy Pelosi against visiting Taiwan

China says its military will never “sit idly by” if US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi were to visit Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.

In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian reiterated earlier warnings on Monday, saying “there will be serious consequences if she insists on making the visit”. He did not spell out any specific consequences. are fully prepared for any eventuality,” he said. “The People’s Liberation Army [PLA] will never sit by idly. China will take strong and resolute measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”China has been steadily ratcheting up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan.

Threats of retaliation over a visit by Pelosi have driven concerns of a new crisis in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two sides, that could roil global markets and supply chains.

Several Taiwan media outlets reported late on Monday that Pelosi was set to visit Taiwan on Tuesday and spend the night in Taipei.

One of the newspapers, the Liberty Times, said Pelosi was scheduled to visit Taiwan’s parliament on Wednesday morning before continuing her Asia trip.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it had no comment on reports of Pelosi’s travel plans.Amid widespread speculation over whether she would make a stop in Taiwan, Pelosi’s office said on Sunday she was leading a congressional delegation to the region that would include visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. It did not mention Taiwan.

Zhao said it would be “a gross interference in China’s internal affairs” if Pelosi visits Taiwan, and warned it would lead to “very serious developments and consequences”.Asked what kind of measures the PLA might take, Zhao said: “If she dares to go, then let us wait and see.”

China views visits by US officials to Taiwan as sending an encouraging signal to the pro-independence camp on the island. Washington does not have official diplomatic ties with Taiwan but is bound by US law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.

A visit by Pelosi, who is second in the line of succession to the US presidency and a long-time critic of China, would come amid worsening ties between Washington and Beijing. Republican Newt Gingrich was the last House speaker to visit Taiwan, in 1997.

During a phone call last Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned US President Joe Biden that Washington should abide by the one-China principle and “those who play with fire will perish by it”.

Biden told Xi that US policy on Taiwan had not changed and Washington strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

On Monday, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang did not directly respond when asked whether Pelosi will visit as local media have speculated “We always warmly welcome visits to our country by distinguished foreign guests,” he told

Shi Yinhong, an international relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing, said if Pelosi visits Taiwan it would prompt the strongest counter-measures by Beijing in years, but he did not expect that to trigger major military conflict.“China has reiterated in no ambiguous terms its opposition to Taiwan separatism.

The US has reiterated many times its one-China policy has not changed and that it is against any change to the status quo by either side of the Taiwan Strait,” he said “Unless by accident, I am sure neither side would intentionally take military action that could lead to a major security risk.”

Last Wednesday, Biden told reporters he thought the US military believed a Pelosi visit to Taiwan was “not a good idea right now”.

Bei­jing has warned of ‘strong’ re­sponse as White House re­port­ed­ly seeks to dis­cour­age trip by the pow­er­ful leg­is­la­tor.

If her trip goes ahead, Pelosi will be the first sit­ting US speak­er of the House to vis­it Tai­wan in 25 years.

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