News ID: 322976
Published: 0303 GMT July 19, 2022

China warns of 'forceful measures' if U.S. House speaker visits Taiwan

China warns of 'forceful measures' if U.S. House speaker visits Taiwan
ELIZABETH FRANTZ/REUTERS

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

China's government warned on Tuesday it would take "forceful measures" if U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, after the Financial Times said she would go to the Chinese-claimed island next month.

Pelosi and her delegation will also visit Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, and spend time in Hawaii at the headquarters of U.S. Indo-Pacific command, the paper added, citing people familiar with the matter, Reuters reported.

Her office and the U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said it has "not received relevant information" about any visit.

The Democratic leader's visit to Taiwan had been postponed from April, after she tested positive for COVID-19. At the time, China said such a visit would severely affect Chinese-U.S. relations.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said any visit by Pelosi would "seriously undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity".

"If the U.S. side obstinately clings to this course, China will definitely take resolute and forceful measures to firmly defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said.

"The United States must be fully responsible for all the consequences caused by this."

China considers the island its own territory. The issue is a constant irritant in ties between Beijing and Washington.

Taiwan, however, has been heartened by continued support offered by the Biden administration, which has repeatedly talked of its "rock-solid" commitment to the island.

Pelosi, a long-time critic of China, held an online meeting with Taiwan Vice President William Lai in January as he wrapped up a visit to the United States and Honduras.

There were divisions in the U.S. administration over whether Pelosi should visit Taiwan, the Financial Times quoted two sources as saying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
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