Chinese FM spokesperson urges Biden not to allow Pelosi's visit to Taiwan
Published: Aug 01, 2022 10:43 PM Updated: Aug 01, 2022 10:38 PM
Zhao Lijian
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian at the press conference

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday reiterated a warning that the US should not arrange a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island of Taiwan, stressing that it would lead to serious consequences.

Pelosi's status as the No. 3 politician in the US means that her visit to the island of Taiwan would be highly sensitive, Zhao said, highlighting that no matter when or how she goes to the island, it will seriously violate the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, and thus seriously undermine bilateral relations and have a negative political impact.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, China's Ministry of National Defense, and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council have spoken out six times in nine days, urging Pelosi to abandon the trip to the island, which would be a serious provocation of China's bottom line.

Pelosi arrived in Singapore on Monday after a weekend stopover in Hawaii to consult with American commanders responsible for the Indo-Pacific, the New York Times reported, noting that Pelosi said in a statement that she was planning to travel on with a congressional delegation for high-level meetings in Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, without mentioning the island of Taiwan.

It would not be unusual to omit Taiwan from an announcement given the security concerns, and Pelosi was expected to proceed with the plan for the highest-level visit by an American official to the island in 25 years, media reports quoted US President Biden's aides as saying.

US government officials conceded that they did not know the extent to which Chinese officials were willing to risk a confrontation, and some officials have urged the Chinese government to shrug off the visit, as it did when the then House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited the island in 1997 to express American support for its defense, according to the New York Times.

Zhao reiterated at Monday's press conference that China has repeatedly expressed to the US its serious concerns and solemn position that it firmly opposes Pelosi's visit to the island, as it could cause serious consequences. China also believes that the US must have been fully aware of the strong and clear message delivered by the Chinese side.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden spoke via telephone for over two hours on Thursday, during which Xi emphasized that it is the firm will of the 1.4 billion Chinese people to resolutely safeguard China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Taiwan question. "Those who play with fire will perish by it," Xi warned Biden.

Zhao added that what the US should do is abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, honor President Biden's promise not to support "Taiwan independence" and not to arrange a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island of Taiwan.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson warned that China will take resolute and strong countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity if Pelosi visits the island, noting that the visit would be a gross interference in China's internal affairs.

The Chinese side is on constant alert and the People's Liberation Army of China will never sit idly by, Zhao Lijian remarked on Monday. "As for what countermeasures the Chinese side would take, let us wait and see if she dares to go."

Global Times