China warns of ‘resolute response’ if U.S. House Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan


China on Monday said it is keeping a close watch on reports of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned visit to Taiwan and warned of a “resolute response” by its military and “strong countermeasures” if she went ahead with the trip to Taipei.

Ms. Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan, CNN quoted senior Taiwanese and U.S. officials as saying despite warnings from the Biden administration officials, who are worried about China’s response to such a high-profile visit.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province that must become a part of the country. Beijing has not ruled out the possible use of force to achieve the reunification of Taiwan with the mainland in the future.

Also read: Chinese military celebrates 95th anniversary; flexes muscles to deter U.S. House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan

Ms. Pelosi, 82, confirmed on Sunday she will lead a congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan but was conspicuously silent about a possible stopover at Taiwan, the self-governing island that China claims as part of its mainland.

While there have been no official announcements, local media in Taiwan reported that Ms. Pelosi will arrive on Tuesday night, becoming the highest-ranking elected U.S. official to visit in more than 25 years.

Taiwanese media quoted officials as saying that Ms. Pelosi would arrive in Taipei after visiting Malaysia and spend the night.

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke of a fiery response to the visit in his phone call with his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden last Thursday, stating that “those who play with fire will perish by it.”

Reacting to the reports of her visit to Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing, “We are closely following the itinerary of Speaker Pelosi and (we would) give a resolute response if she went ahead with the visit.

“As for what those measures will be, let’s see what happens if she actually goes,” he said.

“We want to once again make it clear to the U.S. side that the Chinese side is fully prepared for any eventuality and that the People’s Liberation Army of China will never sit idly by, and we will make a resolute response and take strong countermeasures to uphold China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The Chinese side has repeatedly made clear to the U.S. side China’s serious concern over Speaker Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan and its firm opposition to the visit, he said.

“We have been stressing that such a visit would lead to serious consequences. As President Xi Jinping stressed to U.S. President Joe Biden in their phone call, the position of the Chinese government and people on the Taiwan question is consistent, and resolutely safeguarding China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people,” he said.

“The public opinion cannot be defied. Those who play with fire will perish by it. We believe that the U.S. side is fully aware of China’s strong and clear message,” he said.

“What the U.S. should do is to abide by the ‘One China’ principle and the stipulations of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, fulfil President Biden’s commitment of not supporting Taiwan’s independence and not arrange for a visit by Speaker Pelosi to Taiwan,” he said.

Ms. Pelosi heading a U.S. Congressional delegation on Monday held talks with officials in Singapore at the start of her Asian tour while speculation remained rife about her Taiwan visit.