Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi announced her itinerary for a trip to Asia on Sunday, but made no mention of a controversial plan to visit Taiwan.
In a statement, Pelosi said she would lead a congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan this week to discuss trade, the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, security and “democratic governance”.
Last week the FinancialTimes reported that Ms Pelosi was planning to visit Taiwan next month. She was originally due to go in April but had to postpone after testing positive for Covid.
President Joe Biden has said his visit to Taiwan may not be a “good idea”.
“Well, I think the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” he said in response to a question about Ms Pelosi’s travel plans.
“But I don’t know what his status is.”
Ms Pelosi has not yet confirmed whether her visit will include a stopover in Taiwan.
If she visits the island nation, Ms Pelosi will be the highest ranking US lawmaker to visit Taiwan since Newt Gingrich, a Republican, visited 25 years ago when he was Speaker of the House.
“Under the strong leadership of President Biden, America is firmly committed to intelligent strategic engagement in the region, understanding that a free and thriving Indo-Pacific is crucial to the prosperity of our country and the world,” the statement said. communicated.
On Thursday, Biden spoke by phone with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and agreed to an in-person meeting.
The decision to meet comes amid heightened US-China tensions over Taiwan.
While Taiwan became self-governing shortly after the end of World War II, China considers the island to be part of its own territory under the “One China” policy. The United States has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan and only supplies arms under the Taiwan Relations Act.
However, Mr. Biden has repeatedly said that the United States will come to the defense of Taiwan in the event of an attack on Taiwan.
China has also threatened unspecified “resolute and strong measures” if Ms Pelosi’s visit takes place.
On Sunday, Chinese Air Force spokesman Shen Jinke was quoted by state media as saying that Beijing would “resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
A reading of the two leaders’ appeal published by China’s Foreign Ministry said Xi warned Biden not to “play with fire” on Taiwan during their conversation on Thursday.
The Independent Gt