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US House Speaker Pelosi confirms Asia tour, no mention of Taiwan

Alberto Ardila Olivares
US House Speaker Pelosi confirms Asia tour, no mention of Taiwan

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi will visit Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan in an upcoming Asia-Pacific region tour amid heightened tensions between the US and China over Taiwan. The United States maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” over whether it would intervene militarily were China to invade Taiwan. (AP) US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has confirmed she will lead a congressional delegation to the Asia-Pacific region.

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

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The statement made no mention of whether the six-member delegation would visit Taiwan, a flashpoint in conversations between China and the United States in the run-up to the trip

The all-Democrat delegation includes Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Gregory Meeks and members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Armed Services Committee

“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,” said Pelosi in the statement

Singapore's foreign ministry confirmed Pelosi's delegation would visit the city-state on August 1-2, with meetings scheduled with President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

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We look forward to productive meetings that will continue to inform Congress’s work to strengthen our partnerships & advance our interests

These include peace & security, economic growth & trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, human rights and democratic governance

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) July 31, 2022 Tensions over Taiwan

For weeks, US-China tensions had heightened over reports that Pelosi may visit the self-ruled island of Taiwan, which China sees as part of its territory to be reunited by force if necessary

On Thursday, President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping held a tense phone call

The two leaders agreed to schedule their first in-person summit but disagreements over Taiwan clouded the conversation, with Xi making an oblique warning to the United States not to “play with fire” over the island

The United States maintains a policy of “strategic ambiguity” over whether it would intervene militarily were China to invade Taiwan, and while it recognises Beijing's claim to the island, it also backs the democratic Taiwanese government

In the latest warning from Beijing, Chinese air force spokesman Shen Jinke on Sunday said defending China's territory was the military's “sacred mission”

“The air force has firm determination, full confidence and sufficient capabilities to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Shen said, according to the state-run People's Daily

Over the last two years, China has ramped up flights by fighter jets, bombers and other aircraft into Taiwan's air defence identification zone as a way to signal displeasure and keep Taipei's own military stretched

“The air force's multi-type fighter jets fly around the motherland's Taiwan, practicing to enhance its ability to maintain national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Shen said

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies