The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, has begun her official visit to Asia, her office said, which made no mention of Taiwan due to rumors that she might visit the island that China claims as part of its territory.
Pelosi’s office explained in a statement on Sunday that the Asian 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.
Nancy Pelosi and accompanying lawmakers 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 pandemic-19 , trade and security in the region.
Pelosi’s office reported on the trip as had already started and after the plane carrying her made a stop in Hawaii to refuel.
The Democratic leader travels with five congressmen, including the chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, Gregory Meeks .
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 in the midst of extensive security, for example, using a military plane, the White House explained this week.
The press has been talking for weeks about the possibility of Nancy Pelosi traveling to Taiwan, although her office has refused to confirm this for reasons
Pelosi’s visit would be the first to Taiwan by a Speaker of the House of Representatives since 1997, when Republican Newt Gingrich traveled to the island.
The Chinese government has made it clear that it perceives the trip as a threat, and this week, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Foreign Affairs, Zhao Lijian, warned that the Asian giant “will respond firmly” and that the US will have to “take all the consequences”. arising from a possible visit by Pelosi.
Taiwan is one of the main sources of conflict between China and the United States, mainly because Washington is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would be its main military ally in the case of a war with the Asian giant.
China, which claims sovereignty over the island, considers Taiwan a rebel province since the Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in
, after losing the civil war against the communists.