U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi Starts Asia

The Office of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives confirmed that Speaker Pelosi began this week's Asia tour on Sunday (July 31), visiting four countries, but did not mention whether she would stop in Taiwan. Tensions between the U.S. and China have been escalated in recent days by news of Pelosi's possible visit to Taiwan during the Asian trip.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat. - Reuters file photo

"Speaker Nancy Pelosi drives a legislative designation to the Indo-Pacific locale, including visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan," Pelosi's office said in a news discharge.

The press release did not mention whether Speaker Pelosi was staying elsewhere, but emphasized that "this trip will focus on common security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region."

Members Of The Delegation Included House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks, a Democrat:

Speaker Pelosi also did not confirm whether she was visiting Taiwan. Her trip to Asia was originally scheduled for April when Pelosi mentioned a visit to Taiwan, but it was postponed after she contracted the coronavirus. Not long ago, the Financial Times disclosed that Pelosi's trip to Asia in August this year will include a visit to Taiwan, causing strong dissatisfaction in China.

Since the CCP seized mainland China in 1949, it has always claimed that Taiwan is a province of China, and has repeatedly threatened to unify Taiwan even by force.

Beijing sees the visit by U.S. officials to Taiwan as a signal of encouragement to the pro-Taiwan independence camp. Although Washington has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, U.S. law requires Taiwan to be provided with means of defense.

Dramatic Show of U.S. Support For Taiwan:

Relations between the United States and China have been tense in recent years, and a visit by Pelosi to Taiwan would be a dramatic show of U.S. support for Taiwan. A visit to Taiwan by the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the second-in-line successor to the U.S. president, is not without precedent. In 1997, Gingrich, then Speaker of the House of Representatives, also visited Taiwan. However, Gingrich first visited Beijing before visiting Taiwan.

Chinese pioneer Xi Jinping cautioned in a call with U.S. President Joe Biden last week that Washington should abide by the one-China principle, saying "whoever plays with fire will set himself on fire."

U.S. Policy Toward Taiwan

Biden told Xi that the U.S. policy toward Taiwan has not changed, and Washington strongly opposes efforts to unilaterally change the status quo across the Taiwan Strait or damage peace and stability.

After a call with Xi on Friday (July 29), Taiwan's foreign ministry said that Taiwan will continue to deepen its security partnership with the United States.

The U.S. Military Believed That Pelosi's Visit To Taiwan:

The White House has tried to avoid directly urging Pelosi not to visit Taiwan at this time. Asked about it last Wednesday, President Biden said he thought the U.S. military believed that Pelosi's visit to Taiwan at this time was not a good idea.

Meanwhile, as the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier strike group returned to the South China Sea on Sunday, the Chinese military stepped up military exercises in the vicinity. On Saturday, the Chinese military held live-fire drills off the coast of Fujian province, 100 kilometers from Taiwan. In addition, the Chinese Coast Guard will conduct drills in the South China Sea near Guangzhou on Monday.

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