China has again warned the United States of the consequences if US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan. Beijing would see that as a “blatant interference” in domestic affairs, a foreign ministry spokesman told the Chinese press on Monday.
Pelosi will visit US allies in the Indo-Pacific region this week, possibly including Taiwan. China considers the autonomous island a rebellious Chinese province and would see such a move as a provocation. Beijing has further increased its military presence above and around the island in recent months and is also growing economic pressure. In addition, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine early this year has further fueled rumours of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.
It is not sure whether Pelosi will visit Taiwan. Officially, Taipei is not on the travel schedule, but rumour has it that a surprise visit is coming. Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his American counterpart, Joe Biden, about the consequences of such a visit.
A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned the US again on Monday. “China is well prepared for all possible scenarios,” Zhao Lijian told the Chinese press in Beijing’s capital. “The military will not stand by helplessly, and China will certainly take strong and decisive action to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it said.
Pelosi will make a first stopover in Singapore on Monday. There are talks with the government about starting an American Chamber of Commerce in the city-state. After that, the Democrats will also visit Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea.
When 82-year-old Pelosi visits Taiwan, she becomes the highest-ranking American politician on the island in decades. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the third largest in the United States, after President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.