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Pelosi Expected in Taipei This Week, as China Issues Stern Warnings

Aug. 1, 2022 (EIRNS)—As of this writing, the word is that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will definitely show up in Taiwan this week as part of her tour of the “Indo-Pacific region.” Several media, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, CNBC and others cite anonymous officials, or “people familiar with the matter,” confirming that she will stop off in Taipei and meet with government officials, although as one official cited by the Journal put it, her schedule remains “in flux.” There is an issue as to whether she will spend the night or stop off at the end of her tour which is also taking her to Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia and Japan. She is accompanied by five other Members of Congress.

At today’s Chinese Foreign Ministry briefing, spokesman Zhao Lijian again warned that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan “would lead to serious consequences.” Repeating Xi Jinping’s warning to Joe Biden on July 29 that “those who play with fire will perish by it,” Zhao said that a Pelosi visit would “wantonly trample on the one-China principle, greatly threaten peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, severely undermine China-U.S. relations and lead to a very serious situation and grave consequences.” The Chinese side “is fully prepared for any eventuality,” he said, and that “the People’s Liberation Army of China will never sit idly by.”

Otherwise, there is a flurry of commentary and bluster from U.S. officials. Speaking today at the UN on the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Secretary of State Tony Blinken arrogantly lectured Beijing that “the U.S. is looking for China to act responsibly and avoid creating a crisis if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decides to visit Taiwan.” He added that if she does decide to visit, “and China tries to create some kind of crisis or otherwise escalate tensions, that would be entirely on Beijing. We are looking for them in the event she decides to visit to act responsibly and not to engage in any escalation going forward.” Congress, he said, “is an independent, coequal branch of government. The decision is entirely the Speaker’s.”

John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, told CNN that “there is no reason for the Chinese rhetoric. There is no reason for any actions to be taken. It is not uncommon for congressional leaders to travel to Taiwan. We shouldn’t ... be intimidated by that rhetoric or those potential actions. This is an important trip for the speaker to be on and we’re going to do whatever we can to support her.”

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