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ROC Central News Agency

Pelosi has the right to visit Taiwan: White House

ROC Central News Agency

08/02/2022 01:18 PM

Washington, Aug. 1 (CNA) A White House spokesman on Monday said that House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi had "the right to visit Taiwan" as part of a tour of the Indo-Pacific.

While declining to confirm whether Pelosi would visit Taipei, White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby said that "Congress is an independent branch of government and that Speaker Pelosi makes her own decisions, as other members of Congress do, about their overseas travel."

Pelosi, currently leading a congressional delegation on a tour of the Indo-Pacific, made her first stop in Singapore on Monday.

According to the Financial Times, which cited sources familiar with the matter, Pelosi is expected to arrive in Taiwan Tuesday and meet Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday.

Kirby denied there was any "drama" around Pelosi's planned visit, adding that it did not change Washington's "one China" policy.

Kirby said that the U.S. still opposed any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side of the Taiwan Strait, and expected cross-strait differences to be resolved through peaceful means.

Kirby also said there was no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with longstanding U.S. policy into some sort of crisis or conflict, or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait.

With China's military having already conducted live-fire exercises, Kirby said that Beijing appeared to be positioning itself to potentially take further steps over Pelosi's rumored visit.

These potential steps from China could include military provocations such as firing missiles in the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan; operations that break historical norms, such as large-scale air incursions into Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ); air or naval activities that cross the median line; and military exercises that can be highly publicized, he added.

Kirby noted that the last time Beijing fired missiles into the Taiwan Strait was in 1995, when then-President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) visited his alma mater Cornell University in New York, and in 1996, when Taiwan was preparing to vote for its first democratically elected president.

"We will not be intimidated. We will keep operating in the seas and the skies of the Western Pacific as we have for decades. We will continue to support cross-Strait peace; stability; support Taiwan, of course; defend a free and open Indo-Pacific. And we're still going to seek to maintain lines of communication with Beijing," Kirby said.

(By Stacy Hsu and Evelyn Kao)


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