Launch in new window

DJ's Choice

You are here

International: US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi remains quiet on possible Taiwan visit

8:23 am on 2 August 2022

By Christina Huang

US Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi has launched her tour of Asia, but there has been no mention of her speculated Taiwan visit.

There has been widespread speculation that Pelosi would visit the self-ruled democracy claimed by China, where she would be the highest-ranked official to do so in 25 years.

A senior Taiwanese government official said Pelosi is planning to visit Taiwan, despite the trip not featuring on the US government's public itinerary.

China's foreign ministry has threatened that there will be "serious consequences" if the US house speaker visits the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing, who see the visit as straining formal diplomatic ties between China and the US. 

Pelosi has been vocal about her criticism of the Chinese leadership, denouncing its human rights record. 

She has previously met with pro-democracy activists and visited Tiananmen Square in Beijing to commemorate victims of the 1989 massacre. Posts relating to the massacres are regularly removed from the internet, tightly controlled by the Chinese government.

She originally planned to visit Taiwan in April but the trip was postponed after she tested positive for Covid-19.

Earlier this month Pelosi said it was "important for us to show support for Taiwan." 

The White House has warned that China may respond to Nancy Pelosi's mooted visit to Taiwan with military provocations.

Military spokesman John Kirby says this could include firing missiles near Taiwan, or large-scale air or naval activities.

US President Joe Biden has said the US military believes Pelosi's possible visit to Taiwan is "not a good idea right now."

China has not ruled out the use of force to get Taiwan to become part of the country. 

Public interest journalism funded by NZ On Air.