White House national security spokesman John Kirby said that the trip of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan will not change the US position on Taiwan independence and that the separation of powers in the US government means that Pelosi will make his own decisions regarding the visit.
“The Speaker has the right to visit Taiwan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives has visited Taiwan before without incident, as have many members of Congress, including this year,” Kirby said. Reuters.
“Beijing has no reason to turn a possible visit, in line with longstanding US policy, into some sort of crisis or conflict, or use it as an excuse to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
However, Kirby suggested that China might respond to Pelosi’s likely visit to Taiwan with military provocations.
China’s actions could include missile launches near Taiwan, large-scale air or sea actions, or further “false legal claims” such as Beijing’s assertion that the Taiwan Strait is not an international waterway, John Kirby told reporters.
Earlier, Pelosi’s office said she was leading a congressional delegation to the region that would include visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. It did not mention Taiwan. However, several sources told Reuters that Pelosi may meet with a group of activists in Taiwan on Tuesday or Wednesday.