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White House condemns China rhetoric over Nancy Pelosi visit to Taiwan

WASHINGTON — The White House on Monday condemned Beijing’s rhetoric about an expected visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, vowing that the United States “will not take the bait or engage in saber-rattling” and has no interest in increase tensions with China.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stressed that the decision on whether to visit the self-governing island that China claims as its own ultimately rests with Pelosi. He noted that members of Congress have routinely visited Taiwan over the years.

Kirby said government officials are concerned that Beijing could use the visit as an excuse to launch provocative retaliatory measures, including military actions such as launching missiles in or around Taiwan Strait, flying sorties into Taiwan’s airspace and carrying out large-scale naval exercises in the straits.

“Put simply, there is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit into some kind of crisis, consistent with long-standing US policy, or to use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait,” said Kirby.

The Biden administration pushed back Beijing as Pelosi held talks with officials in Singapore on Monday at the start of her Asia trip.

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Although there have been no official announcements, local media in Taiwan reported that Pelosi will arrive Tuesday night, making her the highest-ranking US elected official in more than 25 years. The United Daily News, Liberty Times and China Times – Taiwan’s three largest national newspapers – quoted unidentified sources as saying that she would arrive in Taipei after her visit to Malaysia and spend the night there.

Talk of such a visit has sparked outrage in Beijing, which considers Taiwan its own territory and has repeatedly warned of “serious consequences” if the reported trip goes ahead.

“If Pelosi insists on visiting Taiwan, China will take decisive and strong measures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in Beijing, without giving details.

“Those who play with fire will perish,” Zhao said. “We would like to remind the US once again that we are fully prepared for all eventualities and that the PLA will never stand idly by.” The People’s Liberation Army is China’s military.

China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, reiterated Beijing’s threat to take action if Pelosi pays a “provocative” visit to Taiwan, reiterating that the “one China principle” is a “red line” and “we will not allow anyone to cross this red line.” to cross the line”. .”

Zhang said at a news conference earlier this month China’s presidency of the UN Security Council that Taiwan’s independence trend continues to develop “with the support of some external forces,” which he did not name.

“So unless we take appropriate, vigorous measures to stop it, the situation may even spiral out of control,” Zhang said. “Therefore, it is legitimate for the Chinese government and military to take action to prevent Taiwan from going further in the wrong direction, towards independence.”

Zhang said he was unable to disclose the deeds, “but what I can say is that the steadfastness, the determination is there. We will do everything to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping also warned the US against interfering in Beijing’s deals with the island in a phone call with President Joe Biden last week.

China has steadily increased diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan. Threats of retaliation for a visit from Pelosi have raised concerns about a new cross-strait crisis dividing the two sides that could disrupt global markets and supply chains.

Beijing sees official American contact with Taiwan as encouragement to make the island’s decades-old de facto independence permanent, a move US leaders say they do not support. Pelosi, head of one of three branches of the US government, would be the highest-ranking US elected official to visit Taiwan since then-Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997.

The Biden administration has sought to reassure Beijing that there is no reason “to get into fights” and that such a visit would not signal a change in US policy. Government officials on Monday urged China to tone down rhetoric, stressing that there was no reason for Beijing to escalate cross-strait tensions over the potential visit.

“What I can say is this: This is a precedent in the sense that previous speakers have visited Taiwan, many members of Congress are going to Taiwan, also this year,” Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said. “And if the speaker decides to visit and China tries to create some sort of crisis or otherwise escalate tensions, that would be entirely up to Beijing.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/white-house-decries-china-rhetoric-nancy-pelosi-taiwan-visit-rcna41068 White House condemns China rhetoric over Nancy Pelosi visit to Taiwan

Fry Electronics Team

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