Pelosi may arrive Tuesday in Taiwan, China vows effective response
US and Taiwan officials claim US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will land Tuesday in Taiwan, and China warns of effective countermeasures.
CNN cited a Taiwanese government official and a US official as saying that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan as part of her tour in Asia.
According to CNN, the Taiwanese official said that Pelosi is expected to stay in Taiwan overnight, adding that it is unclear when exactly will the US House Speaker land in the island.
The US official said that Pentagon officials "are working around the clock" on monitoring any Chinese movements in the region and securing a plan to keep Pelosi safe, reported CNN.
Pelosi will arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday evening
In the same context, the Taiwanese TVBS channel quoted sources as saying that Pelosi will arrive in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, on Tuesday evening, while the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry has not confirmed such information yet.
On its part, The Wall Street Journal cited a person familiar with Pelosi's visit as saying that some of the US House Speaker meetings have been scheduled for Tuesday evening, but most are set for Wednesday, adding that the meetings are not limited to Taiwanese government officials.
"She’s definitely coming," the person said, indicating that "The only variable is whether she spends the night in Taipei."
An unannounced visit
Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan comes despite warnings from US President Joe Biden's administration officials, who are concerned about China's reaction.
Earlier, the Chinese Ambassador to Washington, Qin Gang, said that the Taiwan issue is the most sensitive and important core issue in Sino-US relations.
Chinese National Defense Ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei warned on July 26 that the Chinese military would not sit back if Pelosi visits Taiwan.
US President Joe Biden said in late July that the US military "thinks it's not a good idea right now, but I don't know what the status of it is."
US military making plans in case Pelosi travels to Taiwan
Officials in the United States said they have little concern that China will target Nancy Pelosi's plane if she flies to Taiwan. However, the US House Speaker would be entering an area where US-China tensions are on the rise. As a result, the Pentagon is preparing for every situation.
Officials told AP that if Pelosi visits Taiwan, which remains a possibility, the military will expand its movement of forces and assets in the Indo-Pacific region.
US-China tensions closely watched in EU
Politico cited Monday senior European diplomats as saying that "The deteriorating war of words between the U.S. and China over Taiwan 'could easily escalate' and is being closely watched in European capitals."
According to the newspaper, "From Brussels to Paris, EU officials have been reluctant to weigh into the dispute in public," adding that "Behind the scenes, however, European diplomats accept there is clearly a danger that the situation could spiral out of control."
Commenting on the matter, Boris Ruge, vice-chairman of the Munich Security Conference, indicated that “Worst-case scenarios sometimes do come to pass.”
“Europeans would do well to prepare for contingencies, backing up Taiwan while remaining in close contact with Beijing, and helping to deescalate,” he pointed out.
China: "People’s Liberation Army won’t sit back quietly"
Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Monday that "if Pelosi visits Taiwan, this will be a gross interference in China’s domestic policy [...] and will lead to very serious consequences."
"The Chinese People’s Liberation Army won’t sit back quietly and do nothing," he added.
According to Zhao, Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan would trigger instability in the Taiwan Strait and severe China-US relations. "China will definitely take resolute and effective countermeasures," he stressed.
Nikkei Asia also reported that the US has deployed naval and aerial military assets ahead of US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan.
Website data for naval and aerial tracking shows that military ships and jets are being drawn closer to Taiwan.