US warns China against stoking crisis over Speaker Pelosi’s possible Taiwan visit

DHARAMSALA, 2 Aug: The US has warned China against turning House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan into some sort of crisis or conflict declaring that the potential visit is consistent with US foreign policy.

“There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit, consistent with long standing US policy, into some sort of crisis or conflict, or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait,” US National Security coordinator John Kirby has said.

The development came after China declared that the US is “playing with fire”, and warned of “serious consequences” if the trip goes ahead. 

Kirby has further said that the White House won’t be commenting or speculating about the stops on Speaker Pelosi’s trip and that 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.

Additionally, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also warned China against trying to create a crisis and escalate tensions 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”.

Though neither the Speaker nor her staff has confirmed their travel plan to Taiwan, local media in Taiwan reported that Speaker Pelosi will arrive on Tuesday night and meet President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began her tour of four Asian countries- Singapore Malaysia, South Korea and Japan- on Monday.

If she visits the island, it would make her the most senior US lawmaker to visit the island since one of her predecessors, Speaker Newt Gingrich’s visited in 1997.

Beijing claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and views it as a wayward province to be reunified with China by force if necessary.

Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang troops fled to the island after losing China’s civil war to Mao’s Communist Party.

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