China warns military will 'not sit idly by' if Pelosi visits Taiwan
Nancy Pelosi's possible trip to Taiwan continues to mount pressure between China and the United States.
If US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan, China's military will "not sit quietly by."
The latest warning was issued during a Chinese Foreign Ministry regular briefing. Spokesperson Zhao Lijian also said that because of Pelosi's status as the "No. 3 official of the US government," a visit to Taiwan, which China claims as its own, would "lead to egregious political impact."
This comes after the China Times newspaper reported on Monday, citing diplomatic sources, that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may arrive in Taiwan on August 2 and meet with the island's leader, Tsai Ing-wen, the next day.
The US official is also expected to hold a meeting with other high-ranking officials while in Taiwan and leave the island on Wednesday, the newspaper said.
The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry has not confirmed these plans yet, the news outlet added.
Pelosi began a four-country Asian tour in Singapore on Monday, amid significant speculation that she would risk Beijing's anger by also visiting self-ruled Taiwan.
'Super Garuda Shield' military exercise
Indonesia and the US began a two-week joint military exercise on Monday that Washington announced aims to advance "regional cooperation in support of a free and open" Asia-Pacific region.
The exercise comes in light of the US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Asia amid diplomatic tensions with China.
US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a heated phone call on Thursday, agreeing to schedule their first in-person summit, and Xi warned Washington not to "play with fire" in Taiwan.
The exercise, which includes army, navy, air force, and marine maneuvers, will go until August 14. An opening ceremony with all participating nations will take place on Wednesday, an Indonesian official said.
No mention of Taiwan
Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, are the confirmed stops for US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's congressional delegation to the Asia-Pacific region, according to a statement issued on Sunday by her office.
The statement made no mention of a possible delegation visit to Taiwan, a topic of great significance in US-Sino relations given the increased tension during the run-up to the trip.
"The trip will focus on mutual security, economic partnership, and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region," Pelosi's office said in the statement.
Tensions over the Taiwan trip
Chinese National Defense Ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei warned on July 26 that the Chinese military would not sit back if Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan. His statement was made in response to a press inquiry regarding the issue.
China demands that the United States keep its promise that it would not support "Taiwan independence", Tan said, adding that if Washington insists on making the visit, the Chinese military will take strong actions to counter any external interference or "Taiwan independence" separatist scheme and will be determined in safeguarding China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity.