Pelosi visits Malaysian parliament ahead of expected Taiwan visit

Singapore, Aug 2 (EFE).- The speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, visited Malaysia’s parliament on Tuesday amid expectations she will depart for Taiwan later in the day, despite China’s warnings.

Pelosi entered parliament dressed in a pink suit and flanked by her team at midday local time (04:00 GMT), on the second stop on her Asia tour, having been to Singapore Monday.

According to the Malaysian news agency Bernama, Pelosi was to have lunch Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, after landing in the morning from Singapore, where on Monday she spoke with leader Lee Hsien Loong about Taiwan and the war in Ukraine, among other issues.

The Democrat’s Asia tour, which also includes stops in South Korea and Japan, is overshadowed by the expectation that she will travel to Taiwan, which it would be the first trip by a House speaker since 1997.

Although neither the White House nor Pelosi’s delegation, which is traveling accompanied by a team of congressmen, have confirmed it, Taiwanese media reported Tuesday that she is expected to land at Taipei Songshan Airport on Tuesday night, around 10.20 pm local time (14:20 GMT).

Taiwanese news outlets United Daily News, Liberty Times and China Times cite anonymous sources confirming she will spend Tuesday night in Taiwan and will remain there on Wednesday.

Pelosi, who has a long history of criticizing Beijing, particularly on human rights issues, and her rumored visit to Taiwan, has raised tension between the world’s two leading economies in one of their worst periods in decades.

China’s United Nations envoy Zhang Jun warned Monday that the visit would undermine relations between Beijing and Washington.

If Pelosi goes to Taipei, the “US has to bear all the serious consequences arising thereof,” he warned, despite being reminded by journalists that her agenda is not designed by the US State Department and that the executive and legislative branches are independent.

“China is fully prepared to respond. If the US insists on making the visit, China will take firm and strong measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.

For its part, Taiwan, an island that in principle the US would defend in the event of an attack by China, although Washington maintains an ambiguous position on the matter, increased its alert level for combat, CNA, the official news agency of the island reported Tuesday.

China claims sovereignty over the island and has considers Taiwan a rebel province that it has not ruled out force in order to reunify with.

Taiwan, with whom the US does not maintain official relations, is one of the main sources of conflict between China and the US, mainly because Washington is the main supplier of weapons to the island and would be its greatest military ally in the event of war with Beijing. EFE


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