Officials in the Biden administration are concerned that China may seek to declare a no-fly zone over Taiwan ahead of a possible visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, potentially escalating tensions in the region, according to a CNN report.
China could also respond by flying fighter jets deeper into Taiwan’s sTaiwan elf-declared air defence zone, triggering a response from Taiwan and the US, according to the official.
According to CNN, they did not specify what kind of response they might take.
In recent months, China has repeatedly sent warplanes into Taiwan’s self-declared air defence zone identification zone, an act that does not violate international law but usually results in Taiwan taking precautionary defensive measures, including scrambling its fighter jets.
Chinese planes have not flown into the island’s territorial airspace, which extends 12 nautical miles from its coast.
The US State Department has urged China to stop intimidating Taiwan.
According to three sources familiar with the planning process, Pelosi is planning a trip to Taiwan in the coming weeks.
While other members of Congress and former US officials have visited Taiwan this year, Pelosi would be the highest-ranking US legislator to do so in the last 25 years. In 1997, then-Speaker Newt Gingrich visited Taiwan.