Pelosi expected to visit Taiwan, Taiwanese and US officials say

Pelouse expected to visit Taiwan, Taiwanese and US officials say

Pelosi expected to visit Taiwan, Taiwanese and US officials say

The Chinese embassy in the US has objected to her planned trip, which was scheduled for April before Pelosi tested positive for Covid-19, and has urged members of Congress to tell her not to go.

"I would say the Chinese embassy has gone all out to discourage a trip to Taiwan," Washington Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen, co-chair of Congress' US-China working group, told CNN. "I just don't think it's their place to tell us what we should do." That was my response."

The Chinese Embassy's spokesperson, Liu Pengyu, responded that his office has "regular contact" with members of Congress, including Larsen.

"On the Taiwan issue, we have made our position clear," Pengyu said. "The Embassy is making every effort to ensure that the potential visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan does not jeopardize the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, as well as the stability of China-US relations."

"We hope that serious consequences are avoided," he added. "This is in both China's and the United States' best interests."

Many Democrats and Republicans in Congress agreed that Pelosi had the right to visit Taiwan.

"It is solely Speaker Pelosi's decision whether or not to travel to Taiwan," Illinois Republican Rep. Darin LaHood, Larsen's Republican counterpart on the US-China working group, said. "In our democratic system, we have distinct but equal branches of government."

"It is inappropriate for foreign governments, including the Chinese government, to attempt to influence the speaker, members of Congress, or other US government officials' ability or right to travel to Taiwan or anywhere else in the world," he added.

Other members seemed more hesitant about the diplomatically sensitive trip.

Democratic Rep. Judy Chu of California, the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress, stated that she has "always supported Taiwan."

When asked if a trip to Taiwan now would send the wrong message, Chu replied, "You could look at it two ways." One is that relationships are currently very strained. On the other hand, you could argue that this is when Taiwan needs to be shown strength and support."

"I leave it up to those who are going to make that decision," she said when asked what she thought.

On Monday, additional information was added to this story.

Jennifer Hansler, Nectar Gan, Yong Xiong, Hannah Ritchie, Chandelis Duster, and Betsy Klein of CNN contributed reporting.

We'd like to remind the US that China is watching, and the Chinese People's Liberation Army will never stand idle. When asked about the fallout from Pelosi leading a congressional delegation to Taipei, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters, "China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity."

"As for what measures, let's wait and see if she dares to go," Zhao added.

Though China's military did not mention Taiwan, the People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theater Command said in a video posted online Monday that showed off its weaponry and fighting tactics that it would "bury incoming enemies." "Firmly stand by and ready for the fighting command; Bury all incoming enemies," said a Weibo message.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the administration's position that it is up to Pelosi whether or not she visits, adding that "we do not know what Speaker Pelosi intends to do."

"Congress is an independent, coequal branch of government," Blinken said Monday afternoon at the United Nations. "The decision is entirely in the hands of the Speaker."

Blinken stated that such a trip is not unprecedented, noting that previous speakers and members of Congress have visited Taiwan.

"And so, if the speaker decides to visit and China attempts to create a crisis or otherwise escalate tensions, that would be entirely on Beijing," Blinken said. "We are looking for them to act responsibly and not engage in any further escalation if she decides to visit."

According to National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby, the Biden administration will support Pelosi's trip to Taiwan.

"We want to ensure that when she travels overseas, she can do so safely and securely, and we will make that happen." The Chinese rhetoric serves no purpose. There is no reason to take any action. "Congressional leaders frequently travel to Taiwan," Kirby told CNN's Brianna Keilar on "New Day."

"As a country, we should not be intimidated by that rhetoric or those potential actions." "This is an important trip for the speaker, and we'll do everything we can to support her," Kirby added.

When asked if the US was bracing for fallout from the visit, Kirby said, "There is no change in our policy." No change in our commitment to preserving a free, safe, and open Indo-Pacific."

Taiwan remains one of the most contentious issues. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping talked about it extensively during a two-hour and 17-minute phone call on Thursday, as tensions between Washington and Beijing rose.

"The issue of Taiwan is the most sensitive and important core issue in China-US relations," said Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang in July at the Aspen Security Forum.

According to two sources, while Biden has stated publicly that the US military did not believe it was a good time for Pelosi to visit Taiwan, he has stopped short of telling her directly not to go.

In recent weeks, administration officials have worked to inform the House Speaker of the risks of visiting the democratic, self-governing island of 24 million people, including briefings from Pentagon and other administration officials. However, Biden did not believe it was his place to tell her she should not go, and he has avoided publicly commenting on her trip since his initial statement on July 21.

Biden stated last month that the US military opposed Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, but has refused to elaborate. The White House has stated that it is up to the House Speaker to decide where she will travel.

Nonetheless, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently stated that he and Pelosi had discussed a trip to Asia.

Because Pelosi is in the presidential line of succession, the administration takes extra precautions to ensure her safety when she travels abroad.

Officials in the Obama administration are concerned that Pelosi's trip comes at a particularly tense time, as Xi is expected to seek an unprecedented third term at the upcoming Chinese Communist Party congress. In the coming weeks, Chinese party officials are expected to begin laying the groundwork for that conference, putting pressure on Beijing's leadership to demonstrate strength.

Officials believe the Chinese leadership is also unaware of the political dynamics in the United States, which has led to a misunderstanding about the significance of Pelosi's potential visit. According to officials, China may be mistaking Pelosi's visit for an official administration visit because she and Biden are both Democrats. Administration officials are concerned that China does not sufficiently separate Pelosi and Biden.

Pelosi has long been an opponent of China's Communist Party. She has met with pro-democracy activists and the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader who continues to irritate the Chinese government. To commemorate the victims of the 1989 massacre, Pelosi unfurled a black-and-white banner in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1991, which read, "To those who died for democracy." In recent years, she has expressed support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests.

According to a senior Taiwanese government official and a US official, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will visit Taiwan as part of her Asia tour, despite warnings from Biden administration officials concerned about China's reaction to such a high-profile visit.

The stop, the first for a US House speaker in 25 years, is not on Pelosi's public itinerary and comes at a time when US-China relations are already strained.

She is expected to spend the night in Taiwan, according to the Taiwanese official. It is unknown when Pelosi will arrive in Taipei.

According to the US official, Defense Department officials are working around the clock to monitor any Chinese movements in the region and devise a plan to keep her safe.

During a regular foreign ministry briefing on Monday, China warned against the "egregious political impact" of Pelosi's planned visit to the self-governing island that China claims as part of its territory, and reiterated that its military "won't sit by idly" if Beijing believes its "sovereignty and territorial integrity" are under threat.

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