Nancy Pelosi starts her Asian tour without clarifying if she will visit Taiwan       Bay Area

Nancy Pelosi starts her Asian tour without clarifying if she will visit Taiwan Bay Area

WASHINGTON DC — Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Democrat Nancy Pelosi has begun her Asia tour, her office has reported, not mentioning Taiwan despite rumors she may visit the island Beijing claims as part of its territory.

Pelosi’s office said in a statement Sunday that the Asia tour includes stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.

“Today, our congressional delegation travels to the Indo-Pacific to reaffirm the United States’ strong and unwavering commitment to our allies and friends in the region,” Pelosi said, according to the note.

Pelosi and her fellow MPs will hold high-level meetings in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan to discuss a wide range of issues including human rights, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, trade and global security.

Pelosi’s office reported the trip after it had already begun and after the plane carrying them made a stop in Hawaii for refueling.

The Democrat leader is traveling with five members of Congress, including House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks.

The Speaker recalled that President Joe Biden had asked Congress to send a $33 billion humanitarian and military aid package to Kyiv.

As Speaker of the House, Pelosi is second in line to the presidency after Vice President Kamala Harris, and when she travels abroad she does so under tight security measures, such as on a military plane, the White House said this week.

The media has been anticipating the possibility that Pelosi will travel to Taiwan for weeks, although her office has refused to confirm it for security reasons.

Pelosis would be the first visit by a US House Speaker to Taiwan since 1997, when Republican Newt Gingrich visited the island.

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The Chinese government has made it clear that it perceives the trip as a threat, and Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian warned this week that the Asian giant “will respond decisively” and that the US “must face any consequences” that result the possible visit of Pelosi.

The White House has responded by slamming China’s rhetoric, which it considers “unnecessary” and “unhelpful,” particularly after Biden reiterated to his counterpart Xi Jinping this week that Washington’s policy on Taiwan has not changed.

Taiwan is a major source of friction between China and the United States, largely because Washington is Taiwan’s top arms supplier and would be its top military ally in the event of a potential war with China.

China claims sovereignty over the island and has viewed Taiwan as a rebellious province since the Kuomintang nationalists retreated there in 1949 after losing the civil war to the communists.