August 15, 2022

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Nancy Pelosi confirms Asia-Pacific tour, but doesn't mention Taiwan

Nancy Pelosi confirms Asia-Pacific tour, but doesn’t mention Taiwan

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference on Capitol Hill, the seat of Congress, in Washington, on July 29, 2022. afp_tickers

This content was published on Jul 31, 2022 – 07:22

(AFP)

The office of the US House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, confirmed today, Sunday, that the US House Speaker will lead a congressional delegation to tour the Asia-Pacific region, without mentioning the stop in Taiwan.

The statement issued by Pelosi’s office said the six-member delegation will visit Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.

“The trip will focus on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region,” the statement said.

“Our delegation will hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can continue to advance our shared interests and values, including peace and security, economic growth and trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, human rights and democratic governance,” Pelosi said in the memo.

Relations between the United States and China have been going through a period of tension since the possibility of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was raised.

China considers Taiwan, an island of about 23 million people, one of its provinces that has not been reunited with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War (1949).

The Chinese government opposes any initiative that gives international legitimacy to the Taiwan authorities and any official contact between Taiwan and other countries.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had a tense phone conversation, with Xi telling Biden that the United States should not “play with fire” when it comes to Taiwan.

With this in mind, a Chinese Air Force spokesperson insisted on Sunday that defending Chinese territory is the military’s “sacred mission.”

“The air force has firm determination, full confidence and sufficient capabilities to uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the spokesman was quoted by the People’s Daily, the media organ of the Communist Party of China, as saying.

Since 1979, the United States has recognized “one China” with Beijing as its capital. It does not officially recognize Taiwan, but supports it militarily.

Biden stressed in the conversation that the US position on Taiwan has not changed and that his country opposes “unilateral efforts to adjust the situation or threaten peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

This week, the Taiwanese military held its largest annual military exercise, which included a simulation of intercepting Chinese attacks from the sea.

Meanwhile, the US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its fleet sailed from Singapore bound for the South China Sea, according to the US Navy.

In response, China on Saturday held “live fire” military exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

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