House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office announced early Sunday morning that she plans to visit at least four Asian countries during her trip to the region, but a stop in Taiwan was notably left out.
Pelosi is leading a Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region that includes stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. The trip will center on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region, her office said in a press release.
“Today, our Congressional delegation travels to the Indo-Pacific to reaffirm America’s strong and unshakeable commitment to our allies and friends in the region,” Pelosi said in the release.
“In Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, our delegation will hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can further 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,” she continued.
Pelosi added, “Under the strong leadership of President Biden, America is firmly committed to smart, strategic engagement in the region, understanding that a free and flourishing Indo-Pacific is crucial to prosperity in our nation and around the globe.”
The Congressional delegation will include Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York, Mark Takano of California, Suzan DelBene of Washington, Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Andy Kim of New Jersey.
Pelosi’s announcement comes after President Joe Biden said earlier this month that U.S. military officials believe a visit to Taiwan from the Speaker is “not a good idea.”
The People’s Republic of China sees Taiwan as part of its territory. The Chinese military has frequently sent planes into Taiwan’s airspace to test the region’s air defense zone and the country has warned the U.S. against Pelosi visiting. She would be the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the island county since 1997.
“Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this,” a Chinese readout of the Biden-Xi call said.
While the U.S. does not have official relations with Taiwan, it has increased engagements with the island and has tried to discourage China from invading.
Pelosi’s trip will center on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region, her office said in a press release. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
China has become angered over the potential of Pelosi visiting Taiwan, with Beijing warning that there will be consequences if the Speaker stops on the island. Chinese officials have said Pelosi visiting Taiwan would violate the One China Policy and would constitute aiding an illegal rebellion.
A Chinese state media personality even suggested shooting down the Speaker’s plane if she does visit.