‘Pelosi has every right to visit Taiwan’: US warns China against turning Speaker’s trip into a ‘crisis’

John Kirby

US National Security coordinator John Kirby

Photo : ANI

Washington: The White House on Monday warned China against turning US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s potential visit to Taiwan into a “crisis” and said any escalation in tensions over the visit will be entirely on Beijing.

According to reports, Pelosi, who is currently on an official Asia tour, is likely to stop off in Taiwan and meet President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday. If it happens, it will be the first highest-level US visit to Taipei in decades.

However, China, which views Taiwan as its territory, has reacted furiously to the idea, warning US President Joe Biden that his administration was playing “with fire” and announcing a series of live-fire military drills in the Taiwan Straits.

Hitting back at China, US National Security coordinator John Kirby said, “The Speaker (Nancy Pelosi) has not confirmed any travel plans and it is for the Speaker to do so, and her staff. We won’t be commenting or speculating about the stops on her trip… the Speaker has a right to visit Taiwan.”

“We are clear that nothing has changed about our one China policy which is guided by Taiwan Relations Act. We do not support Taiwan independence… We expect to see China use inflammatory rhetoric and disinformation in the coming days,” he added.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken also warned China against trying to create some kind of crisis over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

“The Speaker (Nancy Pelosi) will make her own decisions about whether or not to visit Taiwan… If the speaker does decide to visit, and China tries to create some kind of crisis, or otherwise escalate tensions, that would be entirely on Beijing,” he said.

Pelosi kicked her trip off Monday with a stop in Singapore, where Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urged her at a meeting to strive for “stable” ties with Beijing.

Her itinerary also includes Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, but the prospect of a Taiwan visit has dominated attention.