The House speaker is heading a congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region. She plans to visit South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Japan, according to a statement released by her office Sunday.
However, there was no mention of Taiwan in her Asia tour announcement, despite speculation that Pelosi might visit the island.
According to CNN, the democrat’s visit is confirmed, quoting a senior Taiwanese official and a US official. A Taiwanese reporter from the TVBS news network tweeted that Pelosi was expected to arrive Tuesday evening.
Taiwan’s government has not made any public comments on the report.
The Chinese government views Taiwan as its part.
China has criticized the potential visit, warning that its military would “not sit idly” if the visit takes place.
“Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan would be a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, seriously damaging China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Her status as the No.3 politician in the US means that her visit to Taiwan would be highly sensitive. It will seriously violate the one-China principle and damage China-US relations,” Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson said.
“China will take resolute and strong countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity once Pelosi’s visit takes place. As for countermeasures, if she dares to go, let us wait and see,” Lijian added.
The Pentagon also expressed concern over Pelosi’s visit. However, Nikkei Asia also claimed that the US military is preparing a “buffer zone” for the speaker’s flight, provided she decides to go ahead.
The recent report further stated that the ship USS Ronald Reagan has returned to the South China sea. It had also made a port call to Singapore earlier this week.
This would be the first time a US House speaker visits Taiwan. The anticipated visit comes at a time of rising tension between the US and China. It will make matters worse in East Asia.
Pelosi is third in line for the presidency after President Biden and vice-president Kamala Harris.