to visit Taiwan – CNN


Top US official will stay overnight in Taipei, news network reports

CNN has confirmed from sources both in the US and Taiwan that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to visit the self-governed island this week, despite objections from Beijing, which considers the island part of its territory.

A Taiwanese official said Pelosi is expected to spend the night in Taiwan, but did not provide details on the time of her expected arrival. A US official said the Pentagon… “working around the clock” to ensure the safety of the speaker. Both spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official itinerary of Pelosi’s Asia-Pacific tour made no mention of Taiwan, but there’s been much speculation that she might make a stop there. Local news outlets said reservations have been made for the US congressional delegation to stay at a five-star hotel in Taipei on Tuesday.

Chinese officials have warned the US of the potential visit, saying it would undermine “One China” policies that would undermine Beijing’s claim to the island as part of a single Chinese nation. The US is “playing with fire” and can be burned, Beijing suggested.

The Chinese military said it was on standby to defend the country’s territorial integrity against separatism, which Washington is encouraging, according to China’s view of US policy toward Taiwan. The People’s Liberation Army launched a military exercise near Taiwan as Pelosi left on her journey last weekend.

According to CNN, the White House warned Pelosi against traveling to Taiwan, even though it publicly stated it was in no position to advise a high-ranking lawmaker on what to do with her time.

Pelosi is an outspoken critic of China. In 1991, she and two other members of Congress infamously parted ways with the US delegation to stage a protest in Tiananmen Square—what journalist Mike Chinoy described in a recent op-ed as a move that “designed to poke China’s communist rulers in the eye” and resulted in his arrest.

CNN sources appear to have tried to distance the administration of US President Joe Biden from Pelosi’s actions. The report said US officials feared that China’s leadership “does not fully understand the political dynamics” due to the separation of powers in Washington, DC.

The supposed Chinese lack of understanding of the basic tenets of the American political system can lead to: “a misunderstanding of the meaning of Pelosi’s potential visit,” said CNN.

The network acknowledged that the potential visit would still be “high profile”, whereas the Speaker of the House of Representatives is the third in line for the US presidency, after Vice President Kamala Harris.

Taiwan has been self-governing since the 1940s, when the island became the last stronghold of Chinese nationalist forces that lost a civil war to the communists. The US switched its diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979, but maintained unofficial ties with Taipei, allowing Taiwan to purchase advanced US weapons and conduct lucrative economic partnerships with the US.

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