U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was set to visit Taiwan on Tuesday, three people briefed on the matter said, as China warned that its military would never “sit idly by” if she visited the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.
Pelosi, who began an Asia trip earlier on Monday in Singapore, was due to spend Tuesday night in Taiwan, the people said.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it had no comment on reports of Pelosi’s travel plans.
Amid widespread speculation over whether she would make a stop in Taiwan, Pelosi’s office said on Sunday that 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.
One source told Reuters that the United States had informed some allies about Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Two other sources said Pelosi was scheduled to meet a small group of activists who are outspoken on about China’s human rights record during her stay in Taiwan, possibly on Wednesday.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said earlier on Monday that it would be “a gross interference in China’s internal affairs” if Pelosi visits Taiwan, and warned that it would lead to “very serious developments and consequences.”
“We would like to tell the United States once again that China is standing by, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by, and China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao told a regular daily briefing.
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SOURCE: CNBC, Reuters