Washington, Jul 31 (EFE).- The US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi has embarked on an Asian tour, her office said Sunday without revealing whether or not it would include Taiwan amid reports that she plans to visit the island.
The tour will take her to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, Pelosi’s office said in a statement.
“Today, our Congressional delegation travels to the Indo-Pacific to reaffirm America’s strong and unshakeable commitment to our allies and friends in the region,” Pelosi said in the statement.
The Democrat leader is accompanied by five congressmen, including the head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Gregory Meeks.
They will hold high-level meetings to discuss a wide range of issues, including human rights, climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, trade, and regional security.
Media outlets have been anticipating for weeks the possibility that Pelosi will travel to Taiwan, although her office has refused to confirm this for security reasons.
Should it take place, it would be the first visit by a US House speaker to the island since 1997.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, warned that the Asian giant “will respond firmly” and that the US will have to “assume all consequences” arising from a possible visit by Pelosi.
The White House, in response, criticized China’s rhetoric, especially after president Joe Biden reiterated this week to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping that Washington’s policy towards Taiwan has not changed.
Washington is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would be its greatest military ally in the event of a possible war with China, which claims sovereignty over the island. EFE