Pelosi’s possible Taiwan visit will have ‘egregious political impact,’ China warns US

ISTANBUL (AA) :US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan will “create an egregious political impact,” China said on Monday, warning Washington of “serious consequences.” 

“The Chinese side has repeatedly made clear to the US side our serious concern over Speaker Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan and our firm opposition to the visit,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a news conference in Beijing.

“Pelosi is the third highest-ranking official in the US government, which means it would be highly sensitive for her to visit Taiwan no matter what.”

It will amount to “gross interference in China’s internal affairs, seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, wantonly trample on the One China principle, greatly threaten peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, severely undermine China-US relations and lead to a very serious situation and grave consequences,” Zhao added.

Pelosi kicked off a four-day trip to Asia on Monday with a visit to Singapore, where Prime Minister Lee Hsien highlighted the importance of “stable US-China relations for regional peace and security,” according to Singapore’s Foreign Ministry.

While her official itinerary does not mention Taiwan, top American news outlets, including CNN and The Wall Street Journal, reported on Monday that the top Democrat will head to Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing views a “breakaway province.”

Zhao said China is “closely following” Pelosi’s movements and remains “fully prepared for any eventuality.”

“The People’s Liberation Army of China will never sit idly by, and we will make resolute response and take strong countermeasures to uphold China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.

Pelosi will be the first US House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years.

Her possible trip, billed as a show of support for Taipei, has already flared up tensions between the world’s two largest economic powers.

China’s President Xi Jinping issued a stern warning in a phone call with Joe Biden last week, telling his US counterpart that “those who play with fire will perish by it.”