Beijing to take 'forceful measures' if US House Speaker visits Taiwan
China underlines once again that the United States should tread carefully when it comes to its relations with Taiwan amid stark signals from Washington regarding warmer ties.
The Chinese government warned Tuesday that it would take forceful measures if US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan after reports emerged about the Democrat going to the island in August.
A Financial Times report said Pelosi will be heading a delegation that will tour East Asia, visiting Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. They will then spend time in Hawaii at the headquarters of the US Indo-Pacific command.
China had warned against the visit in April when Pelosi was supposed to embark on her tour, saying it would have a severe impact on Sino-US relations. However, the tour was postponed due to the House speaker testing positive for Covid-19 at the time.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said any visit by Pelosi would "seriously undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."
"If the US side obstinately clings to this course, China will definitely take resolute and forceful measures to firmly defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said. "The United States must be fully responsible for all the consequences caused by this."
The White House had voiced concern about the trip, FT said, citing three people familiar with the situation. The paper also quoted two sources as saying there were divisions in the Biden administration over whether the visit should be made.
Reports about the visit came a day after China asked Washington to cancel a prospective sale of arms and military equipment to Taiwan worth an estimated $108 million.
Beijing warned in early June the United States of "serious consequences" for its support for "separatist forces" in Taiwan amid US Senator Tammy Duckworth's visit to the island.
Senator Duckworth is the chair of the US Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland. She arrived in Taiwan in late May for a three-day visit as part of a tour in the Indo-Pacific region and met with President Tsai Ing-wen. It was her second visit to Taiwan this year.
Beijing's foreign ministry has reiterated on numerous occasions that the one-China principle was a political foundation of US-Sino relations, explaining that the US violated its own obligations and has been jeopardizing bilateral cooperation as well as peace and stability in the region.
Despite having stated that the US will not change its policy regarding China, President Joe Biden angered Beijing by appearing to signal a change in the US policy of "strategic ambiguity" on Taiwan. In a contradictory statement, Biden noted a week ago that "We agreed with the One China policy, we signed on to it... but the idea that (Taiwan) can be taken by force is just not appropriate," as the one-China policy states that Taiwan is a part of the sovereign mainland.