Sunday, 2 October, 2022

China won’t sit back if Pelosi visits Taiwan

Warns Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson

China will take firm and strong countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday, warning that the Chinese military will not sit back if US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan, reports CGTN.

His remarks came amid the high tensions across the Taiwan Straits. Pelosi's Asia trip schedule, announced on Sunday, includes Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan with no mention of Taiwan.

"The Chinese side has repeatedly made clear to the US side our serious concern over Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan and our firm opposition to the visit," Zhao told a regular news briefing. "We are fully prepared for any eventuality," he said, adding that it is the US that has been distorting and hollowing out the one-China principle and making irresponsible remarks on the Taiwan question. 

China demands that the United States honor the promise of President Joe Biden that it would not support "Taiwan independence" and should not arrange Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, he stressed.

During his phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, Biden reaffirmed the United States' commitment to the one-China policy.

Nancy Pelosi held talks with officials in Singapore on Monday at the start of her Asian tour, as questions swirled over a possible stop in Taiwan that has fueled tension with Beijing.

While there have been no official announcements, local media in Taiwan reported that Pelosi will arrive Tuesday night, becoming the highest-ranking elected US official to visit in more than 25 years. The United Daily News, Liberty Times and China Times — Taiwan’s three largest national newspapers — cited unidentified sources as saying she would arrive in Taipei after visiting Malaysia and spend the night.

China has been steadily ratcheting up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan. Threats of retaliation for a visit by Pelosi have driven concerns of a new crisis in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two sides, that could roil global markets and supply chains.