Although the stop is not currently on her public itinerary, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan during her trip to Asia this week, a senior Taiwanese government official and a US official said as quoted by CNN.
Despite Beijing’s increasingly sharp warnings that a visit to the self-governing island would provoke a response – perhaps even a military one – President Biden’s aides said Pelosi was expected to proceed with the plans for the highest-level visit by an American official to the island in 25 years.
Beijing warned on Monday that the Chinese military will not sit idly by if Pelosi visits Taiwan, with the Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson Zhao Lijian stressing that it would also lead to egregious political impact because of Pelosi’s status as the No. 3 official of the US government.
According to the reports of the local TV news station TVBS News, Pelosi may arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday and noted that reservations for the US delegation have been made at the five-star Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taipei’s eastern governmental Xinyi District as well as in a different hotel in the Zhongshan District.
The outlet said that all the relevant security arrangements have been taken to ensure her safety, confirming the US official information that defense department officials are monitoring any Chinese movements in the region around the clock and securing a plan to keep Pelosi safe.
The Chinese state media, on the other hand, have warned that Pelosi could pull a ‘risky and dangerous trick’ in Taiwan and use emergency excuses – like an aircraft fault or refueling- to land on the island that’s not among the officially announced destinations of her Asian tour that includes Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan.
The English-language Global Times cited on Sunday Chinese analysts as saying that due to such a risk, the Chinese military patrols and radar detections should keep in coming days at high alert.
As tensions mounted between Washington and Beijing over the Taiwan issue, which has proved to be the most contentious and most important core issue in China-US relations, President Biden discussed it at length last Thursday with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.