China has again warned the US of a possible trip to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi. “If the US side insists on this visit, China will take decisive and strong measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Beijing foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday.
The Chinese leadership regards free Taiwan as part of the communist People’s Republic and is threatening to conquer it. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, concerns have grown that Beijing too could one day carry out its threats.
Beijing had already reacted last week with unusually sharp warnings after the British “Financial Times” reported on the possible trip. Chinese state media had also warned of significant consequences should Pelosi actually travel to Taiwan.
Pelosi himself did not confirm the plans. US President Joe Biden reacted cautiously. “I don’t think the military thinks it’s a good idea at the moment,” Biden said last week in response to journalists’ questions about the travel plans. However, he does not know the current status.
A whole series of parliamentary delegations from the USA and the EU had recently visited Taiwan. But for China, which sees the island republic as its own territory, the journey of a senior US politician like Pelosi seems to go too far.