Wed, 17 Aug 2022

Beijing [China], August 2 (ANI): China on Monday reiterated that it is keeping a close watch on the reports of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's planned visit to Taiwan and warned of a resolute response and strong countermeasure if she insists on going ahead with the visit to Taipei, CNN reported.

"We would like to tell the US once again that China is standing by, and the Chinese People's Liberation Army will never sit idly by. China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday.

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

Pelosi is going to visit Taiwan, with scheduled meetings with government officials at the self-governed island that China threatens to forcefully overtake, media reports said citing a senior Taiwanese government official and a US official.

The Taiwanese official added that she is expected to stay in Taiwan overnight. It is unclear when exactly Pelosi will land in Taipei.

The US official added that Defense Department officials are working around the clock on monitoring any Chinese movements in the region and securing a plan to keep her safe.

Nancy Pelosi, who is second in line to the Oval Office after the US vice-president, is also expected to hold a meeting with other high-ranking officials while in Taiwan on Tuesday and is scheduled to leave the island a day later.

"She's definitely coming," the people whom Pelosi is planning to meet with in Taiwan have informed WSJ of her arrival. "The only variable is whether she spends the night in Taipei."However, there is no official announcement for Pelosi's visit, the stop, the first for a US House speaker in 25 years, is not currently on Pelosi's public itinerary and comes at a time when US-China relations are already at a low point.

According to CNN, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday said that it is Pelosi's decision whether she visits, adding, "we do not know what Speaker Pelosi intends to do.""Congress is an independent, coequal branch of government. The decision is entirely the Speaker's," Blinken said.

US secretary noted that such a visit has precedent, noting past speakers and members of Congress have visited Taiwan.

"And so if the speaker does decide to visit and China tries to create some kind of crisis or otherwise escalate tensions, that would be entirely on Beijing," Blinken said. "We are looking for them, in the event, she decides to visit, to act responsibly and not to engage in any escalation going forward," Blinken added.

In a statement that was released on July 31, Nancy Pelosi's office said the US House speaker is leading a Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region, including visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. However, there was no mention of Taiwan which China regards as its own.

Since the reports of the US House Speaker's visit were released last month, Beijing has been warning of Nancy's Taiwan visit saying that it will act strongly and take countermeasures if the US side insists on going ahead with the visit.

The People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theater Command said it would "bury incoming enemies" in a video posted online Monday showing off its weaponry and fighting tactics. "Firmly stand by and ready for the fighting command; Bury all incoming enemies," a message posted on Weibo said.

In a press briefing last month, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Pelosi's Taiwan visit will have a severe negative impact on the political foundation of China-US relations.

Even Biden had said the US military believes it is not a "good idea" for House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to travel to Taiwan as planned. "The military thinks it's not a good idea right now," Biden was quoted as saying by the White House press pool.

China has on many occasions firmly opposed any form of official interaction between the United States and the Taiwan region.

While warning against the US House speaker's Taiwan visit, a Chinese state media outlet said visiting Taiwan is definitely a red line that Pelosi must never cross.

Meanwhile, Pelosi kicked off her Asia tour, the delegation led by her made a courtesy call to President Halimah Yacob, and also met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan today.

The Congressional delegation led by Nancy Pelosi comprises Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Gregory Meeks (D-New York), Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee Mark Takano (D-California), Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-Washington), Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois), and Congressman Andy Kim (D-New Jersey), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore said in a statement. (ANI)

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