China said on Monday it was closely monitoring reports of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned visit to Taiwan and a “strong response” and “strong retaliation” by its military if it goes ahead with the trip to Taipei. warned of.
Ms Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan, CNN quoted senior Taiwanese and US officials as saying, despite warnings from Biden administration officials who are concerned about China’s response to such a high-profile visit.
China views Taiwan as a separate province that should become part of the country. Beijing has not ruled out a possible use of force to achieve Taiwan’s reunification with the mainland in the future.
Ms Pelosi, 82, confirmed on Sunday that she would lead a congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, but was categorically silent about a possible halt in Taiwan, the self-governing island that China claims as its mainland. claims as part of.
While no official announcement has been made, local media in Taiwan reported that Ms Pelosi would arrive on Tuesday night, becoming the highest-ranking elected US official to travel in more than 25 years.
Taiwanese media quoted officials as saying that Ms Pelosi would arrive in Taipei after visiting Malaysia and spend the night.
Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke of a sharp reaction to the visit in his phone call with his US counterpart Joe Biden last Thursday, saying “those who play with fire will be destroyed by it.”
Responding to reports of his visit to Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a media briefing here, “We are closely following Speaker Pelosi’s itinerary” and (we are) going ahead with the visit. But will give a strong response.
“As far as those measures go, let’s see what happens if she actually goes,” he said. “We would like to once again make it clear to the US side that the Chinese side is fully prepared for any eventuality and that the People’s Liberation Army of China will never sit idly by, and we will give a firm response and will continue to do so.” Will take strong retaliatory measures for China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
He said the Chinese side has repeatedly made it clear to the US side that China has serious concerns over Speaker Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan and its strong opposition to the visit.
“We have been emphasizing that such a visit would have dire consequences. As President Xi Jinping emphasized in his phone call to US President Joe Biden, the position of the Chinese government and people on the question of Taiwan is consistent, and fully protecting the citizens of China. Sovereignty and territorial integrity are the steadfast wishes of more than 1.4 billion Chinese people.”
“Public opinion cannot be disregarded. Those who play with fire will be destroyed by it. We believe the US side is fully aware of China’s strong and clear message,” he said.
“What the US should do is to abide by the ‘One China’ principle and the terms of the three Sino-US joint communiqués, fulfill President Biden’s commitment not to support Taiwan independence, and not to arrange for Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.” ” They said.
Ms Pelosi, who leads a US congressional delegation, held talks with officials in Singapore at the start of her Asian tour on Monday, while speculation was rife about her visit to Taiwan.
CNN quoted a US official as saying that Defense Department officials are working round the clock to monitor any Chinese activity in the region and plan to keep it safe.
Taiwan may receive a low-profile but high-level welcome to Ms Pelosi if senior Democratic Party leaders defy Beijing’s repeated warnings and make an unannounced visit to the island, reports the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. Will give
The report quoted analysts as saying that despite Pelosi’s ability to travel to Taiwan, she would be given the highest official reception to meet Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and receive the treatment reserved for top foreign dignitaries.
But he said Taipei would try to keep the visit low-profile to avoid further protests to Beijing, which again warned against possible travel.
The Chinese military had previously said it would not back down if Ms Pelosi proceeded with the visit.
“If Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan, it will seriously violate the ‘One China’ principle and the terms in the three Sino-US joint communiqués, China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Tan Kefei, spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense. seriously harm the US, and seriously damage the political foundations of Sino-US relations.”
“This will inevitably cause extremely serious damage to relations between the two countries and the two armies, and further escalate tensions in the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
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