Just moments ago, the White House officially confirmed the American position that the Speaker of the House “has the right to visit Taiwan.”
Routine Diplomatic practice for decades has been that if an official from any country wishes to visit Taiwan, they must get permission from Beijing, then fly into Beijing, then fly to Taiwan. That decades-old practice is being ignored, and Taiwan is being treated by the USA as if Beijing no longer matters.
Beijing seems ready to show the US, and the world, they actually do matter . . . .
Video of the White House spokesman saying it:
Taiwan Cancels all Military Leave
Taiwanese defense officials have canceled the leave of soldiers and officers “to immediately prepare” for the chance of war in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Asia this week, according to local reports.
China warned early Monday that its military would not “sit idly by” if the House speaker visits Taiwan during her trip this week, echoing similar comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping last week that the United States should not “play with fire.” Pelosi is expected to stop in Taiwan during her visit this week, although the island is not listed on her itinerary.
“Her stature as the No. 3 U.S. official means a trip would be highly sensitive,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters Monday. “As to what measures, let’s wait and see whether she insists on this visit.”
If Pelosi travels to Taiwan, she’ll be the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the island since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made the trip in 1997. It’s not clear when Pelosi will arrive in Taiwan, but the House speaker is expected to stay there overnight, officials told CNN.
UPDATE 2:20 PM EDT —
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan as part of her tour of Asia, according to a senior Taiwanese government official and a US official, despite warnings from Biden administration officials, who are worried about China’s response to such a high-profile visit.
The stop — the first for a US House speaker in 25 years — is not currently on Pelosi’s public itinerary and comes at a time when US-China relations are already at a low point.
The Taiwanese official added that she is expected to stay in Taiwan overnight. It is unclear when exactly Pelosi will land in Taipei….