Several Taiwan media outlets claimed late Monday that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will visit Taiwan on Tuesday and spend the night in Taipei, citing unnamed sources.
China has warned that if Pelosi visits Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing, its military will not “sit idly by” .
According to the Liberty Times, Pelosi was planned to visit Taiwan’s parliament on Wednesday morning before continuing her Asia tour.
According to the United Daily News, citing unnamed sources, “related officials” were directed to meet Pelosi, who is expected to arrive in Taipei on Tuesday evening at the latest and spend the night there.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry stated that it has no comment on Pelosi’s travel plans and no additional information to share with the media.
Earlier on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan would be “a gross interference in China’s internal affairs” with “very serious developments and consequences.”
A visit by Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who is second in line to the presidency and a long-time critic of China, would coincide with deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing. In 1997, Republican Newt Gingrich was the last US House Speaker to visit Taiwan.
Beijing believes Taiwan to be part of its territory and has never refrained from using force to seize control of the island. Taiwan opposes China’s sovereignty claims, claiming that only the island’s people can decide its fate.