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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is set to leave for Asia on Friday, beginning a diplomatic trip that could upset the Chinese Communist Party.
Pelosi is due to visit several allied Asian countries during his multi-day tour of the continent.
One possible destination with major ramifications is Taiwan – officially known as the Republic of China. The island was expecting a visit from Pelosi, but recent threats from the People’s Republic of China have brought the potential visit to the world’s attention.
At a press conference on Capitol Hill on Friday, Pelosi declined to clarify his travel plans, citing security concerns.
“Well, I never talk about my trip, because as some of you know, it’s a matter of security,” the speaker said. “It’s a security concern for every member of Congress traveling – especially overseas. But for the speaker, it’s an additional security concern, and for those traveling with me, not just members, but the staff etc.”
BIDEN STOPPING PELOSI’S VISIT TO TAIWAN WOULD CREATE A ‘MAJOR FOREIGN POLICY CRISIS’, SEN. COTTON SAYS
“We have global responsibilities, whether it’s three things, I would say security, economics and governance,” Pelosi said Friday. “And that will be part of it.”
Pelosi was planning to visit Taiwan in April, which would have made her the highest ranking US official to visit the island since 1997, but was forced to cancel the trip after testing positive for coronavirus.
She hasn’t officially rescheduled the trip, but rumors say she still intends to leave after saying last week that it was “important for us to show our support for Taiwan”.
BIDEN-XI CALL LASTS OVER 2 HOURS; BEIJING WARNED US NOT TO ‘play with fire’ in TAIWAN
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned President Biden in a phone call Thursday that the United States should not “play with fire” in Taiwan.
“Those who play with fire will perish. It is hoped that the United States will be lucid about this,” said a Chinese reading of the Biden-Xi appeal.
The People’s Republic of China has long claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and the Taiwan Strait, the relatively narrow strip of ocean between the island of Taiwan and the Chinese mainland. The Chinese military has frequently sent planes to the area, testing Taiwan’s air defense zone.
The United States has no official relations with Taiwan, but has stepped up its engagement with the island as China seeks to isolate it global institutions.
TAIWAN RESIDENTS SAY CHINA’S THREATS TO NANCY PELOSI’S VISIT ARE JUST HOT AIR
“We do not confirm or deny international travel in advance due to long-standing security protocols,” said one. Pelosi Spokesperson told Fox News Digital on Wednesday morning.
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Chinese officials told The Associated Press that if Pelosi goes to Taiwan, the military will increase its movement of forces and resources in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Associated Press reported that the Pentagon was planning a trip to Pelosi, saying fighter jets, ships, surveillance assets and other military systems would likely be used to provide overlapping rings of protection for his flight. to Taiwan and at any time on the ground there.