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China assured today that it would respond with “strong measures” if the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, visited Taiwan.
The Chinese government on Tuesday demanded the United States not to organize Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and urged Washington to “stop any form of official exchanges” with the island.
“China firmly opposes any form of official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at the department’s daily press conference, according to local media.
Zhao was responding to reports of a Pelosi trip to Taiwan this August, adding that, if the visit takes place, “it will gravely violate the one-China principle” and send a “wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces,” whose sovereignty Beijing claims.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman reiterated that his country “will take resolute and strong measures” to defend its sovereignty and warned Washington would be entirely responsible for the resulting consequences.
If the trip occurs, it would be the first visit by a Speaker of the House to Taiwan since 1997, when Newt Gingrich visited the island.
So far, Nancy Pelosi and her team have neither confirmed nor denied the visit.
Taiwan is one of the significant sources of conflict between China and the United States, mainly because Washington is Taiwan’s leading arms supplier and would be its biggest military ally in the event of a war with China.
China, which claims sovereignty over the island, considers Taiwan a rebel province since the Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the civil war against the communists.