The Taiwanese official added that she should spend the night in Taiwan. It is not known exactly when Pelosi will land in Taipei.
At a regular Foreign Ministry briefing on Monday, China warned of the “glaring political impact” of Pelosi’s planned visit to the self-governing island that China claims as part of its territory and said reiterated that its army “will not stand idly by” if Beijing believes its “sovereignty and territorial integrity” are threatened.
“We would like to tell the United States once again that China is here and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never stand idly by. China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. told reporters when asked about the fallout from Pelosi leading a congressional delegation to Taipei.
“As for the measures, if she dares to go, then let’s wait and see,” Zhao added.
Although the Chinese military did not mention Taiwan, the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said it would “bury incoming enemies” in a video posted online Monday showing its weaponry and combat tactics. fight. “Stand firm and ready for battle command; Bury all incoming enemies,” a message posted on Weibo read.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the administration’s line that it’s Pelosi’s decision whether she visits, adding, “we don’t know what Speaker Pelosi intends to do.”
“Congress is an independent and equal branch of government,” Blinken told the United Nations on Monday afternoon. “The decision rests entirely with the President.”
Blinken said such a visit has precedent, noting that former speakers and members of Congress have visited Taiwan.
“And so, if the speaker decides to surrender and China tries to create some kind of crisis or escalate tensions, that would be entirely on Beijing,” Blinken said. “We are looking for them, in case she decides to visit, to act responsibly and not to escalate in the future.”
National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said earlier Monday that the Biden administration would support Pelosi on a trip to Taiwan.
“We want to make sure that when she travels abroad she can do so safely and we’re going to make sure of that. There’s no reason for Chinese rhetoric. There’s no reason for action is taken. It’s not uncommon for congressional leaders to visit Taiwan,” Kirby told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “New Day.”
“We shouldn’t be as a country – we shouldn’t be intimidated by this rhetoric or these potential actions. This is an important journey for the speaker and we’re going to do everything we can to support her,” continued Kirby.
Asked if the United States was prepared for a fallout with China during the visit, Kirby said that “there is no change in our policy. No change in our goal of trying to maintain a free, secure and open Indo-Pacific”.
“The Taiwan issue is the most sensitive and important core issue in China-US relations,” China’s ambassador to the US Qin Gang said at the Aspen Security Forum in July.
While Biden has publicly said the US military doesn’t think it’s the right time for Pelosi to go to Taiwan, he refrained from directly telling her not to go, two sources say.
Administration officials have worked in recent weeks to brief the Speaker of the House on the risks of visiting the democratic, self-governing island of 24 million, including briefings from the Pentagon and other government officials. ‘administration. But Biden didn’t believe it was up to him to tell her she shouldn’t go, and he’s avoided commenting publicly on her trip since his initial statement on July 21.
Biden said last month that the US military opposed Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, though it has since declined to elaborate on the warnings. The White House said it was the Speaker of the House where it was going.
Still, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin recently said he had discussed a visit to Asia with Pelosi.
The administration takes extra precautions for Pelosi’s safety when she travels abroad because she is part of the presidential estate.
Administration officials fear Pelosi’s trip comes at a particularly tense time, as Xi is set to seek an unprecedented third term at the upcoming Chinese Communist Party congress. Chinese party officials are expected to start laying the groundwork for this conference in the coming weeks, pressuring Beijing leaders to show some strength.
Officials also believe Chinese leaders do not fully grasp the political dynamics in the United States, leading to misunderstanding of the significance of Pelosi’s potential visit. Officials say China may be confusing Pelosi’s visit with an official administration visit, since she and Biden are both Democrats. Administration officials worry China may not separate Pelosi from Biden much, if at all.
Pelosi has long been a critic of the Chinese Communist Party. She met pro-democracy dissidents and the Dalai Lama – the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader who remains a thorn in the side of the Chinese government. In 1991, Pelosi unfurled a black-and-white banner in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to commemorate the victims of the 1989 massacre, which read, “To those who died for democracy.” In recent years, she has expressed support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
“I would say there was a full press from the Chinese Embassy to discourage a trip to Taiwan,” Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen, co-chair of the US-China Congressional Task Force, told CNN. “I just don’t think it’s their business to tell us what we should do. That was my message.”
Liu Pengyu, spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in the United States, replied that his office is in “regular contact” with members of Congress, including Larsen.
“On the Taiwan issue, we have expressed our position loud and clear,” Pengyu said. “The Embassy is making every effort to prevent peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the stability of China-US relations from being jeopardized by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan.”
“We hope that serious consequences can be avoided,” he added. “It is in the common interests of China and the United States.”
Many Democrats and Republicans in Congress have said Pelosi has the right to travel to Taiwan.
“It’s President Pelosi’s sole decision whether or not to go to Taiwan, not any other country,” said Illinois Republican Rep. Darin LaHood, Larsen’s Republican counterpart on the group. American-Chinese work. “In our democratic system, we operate with separate but equal branches of government.”
“It is inappropriate for foreign governments, including the Chinese government, to attempt to influence the ability or right to travel of the speaker, members of Congress, or other U.S. government officials to Taiwan or anywhere else in the world. “, he added.
Other members seemed more cautious about the diplomatically sensitive trip.
California Democratic Representative Judy Chu, the first Chinese-American woman elected to Congress, said she had “always supported Taiwan”.
But when asked if a trip to Taiwan would now send the wrong message, Chu replied: “You can see it two ways. One is that relations are very strained at the moment. But another side, you could say maybe that’s when Taiwan also needs to show strength and support.”
When asked what she thought of it, she replied, “I’ll leave it to whoever is going to make that decision.”
This story was updated with additional details on Monday.
CNN’s Jennifer Hansler, Nectar Gan, Yong Xiong, Hannah Ritchie, Chandelis Duster and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.
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