US House Speaker Pelosi begins Asia tour, not to mention Taiwan politics news

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi began visiting four Asian countries on Sunday, her office said, amid speculation she may visit the self-governing island claimed by China without mentioning Taiwan.

“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 press release on Sunday.

The statement said those countries would be included in the visit, but did not specify whether Pelosi, who is third in the line of succession to the presidency of the United States, could make other stops.

The visit will focus on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region.

The enlisted delegation also included Gregory Meeks, chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

China sees the visit by US officials to Taiwan as sending an encouraging signal to the pro-independence camp on the island. Washington does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is obliged by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.

Pelosi’s visit would be a dramatic, though not unprecedented, display of US support for Taiwan. Republican Newt Gingrich was the last House speaker to visit Taiwan in 1997.

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his US counterpart Joe Biden on Thursday that Washington must adhere to the one-China principle and “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 attempts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits.

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Al Jazeera’s White House correspondent Kimberly Halkett said Pelosi’s itinerary has been announced, raising the possibility that Taiwan could be added to the list of countries at the last minute.

“Given the fact that there has been controversy, it is no surprise that it is not on the initial schedule,” Halkett said.

“Message from the Chinese Government [during Thursday’s two-hour phone call] It was very clear to the American side: that any visit by the Speaker of the House would be seen as meddling in Chinese affairs. A stern warning has been issued, but ultimately it is up to the Speaker of the House whether she will travel or not. ,

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said on Friday after a phone call between Xi and Biden that Taiwan would continue to deepen its close security partnership with the US.

Chinese Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke was quoted by state media as saying on Sunday that Beijing “will firmly defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Shen said at a military airshow that the Air Force has a variety of fighter jets capable of orbiting “the priceless island of our homeland”, referring to Taiwan.

He added that China’s air force has “strong will, full confidence and sufficient capacity to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

A comment Friday by the People’s Liberation Army unit on China’s Twitter-like social media platform Weibo – “Get ready for war!” – 1.87 million thumb-ups were received.

South China Sea

As the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group returned to the South China Sea by Thursday, China intensified military exercises in the vicinity.

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According to local officials, the Chinese military on Saturday conducted live-firing exercises in the waters of Fujian province, more than 100 km (62 miles) from Taiwan.

According to another notice from the Maritime Security Administration, the Chinese coast guard will conduct exercises in the South China Sea off Guangzhou province on Monday.

Prominent Chinese commentator Hu Zijin said on Saturday that after his account was blocked by Twitter, he deleted a tweet warning of military retaliation when US fighter jets rescued Pelosi on a trip to Taiwan.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Friday that the US saw no evidence of escalation of Chinese military activity against Taiwan.

On Wednesday, Biden told reporters he thought the US military believed Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan “isn’t a good idea right now”.

Pelosi’s visit to Asia comes at a politically sensitive time for Chinese and American leaders.

Xi is expected to seek an example-setting third term in the National People’s Congress later this year, while in the US, Biden’s Democratic Party faces a tough fight to retain control of the US House of Representatives in November’s midterm elections. Will have to face

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