Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan – China prepares for drastic measures

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday that US House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan would be “gross interference in China’s internal affairs” and warned that it would lead to “very serious events and consequences.”

“We would like to reiterate to the United States that China is standing by, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by, and China will take strong retaliatory measures and strong countermeasures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao said during the traditional daily briefing.

When asked what measures the PLA could take, Zhao replied, “If she dares to go, then let’s wait and see.”

China views visits by US officials to Taiwan as an encouraging signal to the pro-independence camp on the island. Washington has no official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is required by US law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.

The visit of Pelosi, who is second in line to the US presidency and a longtime critic of China, comes amid worsening relations between Washington and Beijing. Republican Newt Gingrich was the last House Speaker to visit Taiwan in 1997.

Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it would not comment on reports of Pelosi’s travel plans. A video by the People’s Liberation Army Eastern Command, showing scenes of military exercises and preparations, posted on state media websites on Monday evening, called on the troops to “stand in order of battle, be ready to fight on command, bury all approaching enemies “.

Read also: Pelosi will be in Taiwan tomorrow – media

The White House called China’s rhetoric baseless and inappropriate. “Congressional leaders often come to Taiwan,” National Security Council spokesman said. John Kirby in an interview with CNN early Monday morning.

“We should not be intimidated by this rhetoric or these potential actions. This is an important trip for the speaker, and we are going to do our best to support it,” the White House said.

During a telephone conversation last Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned US President Joe Biden that Washington must abide by the principle of one China and that “those who play with fire will perish.”

Biden told Xi that US policy towards Taiwan has not changed and that Washington strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington on Friday, the next day after Biden’s conversation with Xi Jinpingspoke to reporters with restraint, saying that one of the goals of the dialogue is to ease tensions over Taiwan.

“I think both China and the US don’t want conflict in the Taiwan Strait,” Liu said.

On Monday, Taiwan’s premier Su Tseng-chang did not directly answer the question of whether Pelosi would arrive on Thursday, as local media had suggested.

“We always warmly welcome visits to our country by distinguished foreign guests,” he told reporters in Taipei.

On Monday, Pelosi and her delegation met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to discuss issues such as cross-strait relations, the war in Ukraine and climate change, Singapore’s foreign ministry said.

“Prime Minister Lee stressed the importance of a stable US-China relationship for regional peace and security,” the statement said.

Beijing considers Taiwan part of its territory and has never shied away from using force to take control of the island. Taiwan rejects China’s claim to sovereignty and says that only its people can decide the future of the island.

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