China in ‘wait and watch’ mode over Pelosi’s possible Taiwan trip

Beijing, Aug 1 (EFE).- China Monday said it “will wait and watch” US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s possible trip to Taiwan.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian avoided specifying China’s reaction to the high-profile visit to the self-governing island that Beijing claims as a part of its territory.

Zhao said the trip by the “No. 3 official of the US government” would “lead to egregious political impact.”

The spokesperson said if the trip was made, no matter “how or when”, it would “seriously violate the ‘One China Principle.”

“(The visit) would undermine relations between China and the United States,” Zhao said.

He reiterated China’s firm opposition to Pelosi’s potential visit, saying if the US insisted on making the visit and challenging China’s red line, “it will be met with resolute countermeasures.”

He insisted China would take “firm measures” to “defend its sovereignty and integrity.”

Pelosi is on a four-nation Asian trip amid intense media speculation that she might visit Taiwan.

However, Pelosi’s itinerary for Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan does not include Taiwan.

She and her team have neither confirmed nor denied the visit.

China’s military and civilian officials have warned of possible consequences if Pelosi undertakes the trip to Taiwan.

Last week, Defense Ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei said the Chinese military “will not sit idly by” if the visit takes place.

During their telephone conversation last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping asked his US counterpart Joe Biden “not to play with fire.”

If the trip takes place, it would be the first visit by a US House Speaker to Taiwan since 1997, when Newt Gingrich visited the island.

She first announced her intention to visit Taiwan in April but was forced to postpone after contracting Covid-19.

China considers Taiwan a broke-away province since the Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the civil war against the communists.

The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act govern the Washington-Taipei ties.

The act states that the US shall provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character and shall maintain the capacity of the United States to resist any resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security, or social or economic system, of the people of Taiwan.

Tensions have risen across the Taiwan Strait in the past year, with the number of Chinese aircraft allegedly violating Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has admitted that the US has a military presence on the island, something Beijing called a “provocation.”

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