US House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi begins Asia tour; no mention of Taiwan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on Friday, July 29, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | beautiful pictures

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi embarked on a four-country tour of Asia on Sunday, her office said, without mentioning Taiwan amid speculation she might visit the island. autonomy claimed by China.

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading a congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region, including visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan,” her office said in a statement. newspapers.

The statement said the visit would include those countries, but did not specify whether Pelosi, third in the presidential line of succession, could make other stops.

“The trip will focus on mutual security, economic partnerships and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region,” it said.

Gregory Meeks, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was on the delegation list.

China sees the visits of US officials to Taiwan as an encouraging signal for the pro-independence camp in the island. Washington has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.

On Thursday, President Xi Jinping warned his US counterpart Joe Biden that Washington should adhere to the one China principle and that “those who play with fire will be destroyed by it.”

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

China’s air force spokesman Shen Jinke was quoted by state media on Sunday as saying Beijing would “resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity”, referring to Taiwan.

Shen said at a military broadcast that the air force has a variety of fighters capable of flying around “the precious island of our motherland”. “China’s air force has the unwavering will, full confidence and capability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.

A People’s Liberation Army unit said on Twitter-like Weibo on Friday: “Prepare for war!”

Prominent Chinese commentator Hu Xijin said on Saturday he had deleted a tweet warning of military retaliation if US warplanes escorted Pelosi during a visit to Taiwan, after Twitter locked the account. his account.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby on Friday said the United States has seen no evidence of Chinese military activity against Taiwan.

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