Pelosi leaves Malaysia as tensions rise over possible trip to Taiwan

Singapore, Beijing.- The president of the United States Congress, Nancy Pelosi, concluded a visit to Malaysia in less than six hours on Tuesday, as part of her Asian tour, while tensions increase over her possible visit to Taiwan tonight, despite warnings in against Beijing.

Pelosi arrived in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from Singapore, the first destination of her Asian tour, on Tuesday morning, an express visit in which she visited the Malaysian Parliament and had lunch with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, according to the Bernama agency. .

“We have talked in depth about our common goals of ensuring a free and secure Indo-Pacific,” Pelosi stressed, according to a statement released by her office, in which she is the only veiled reference to China, to whom the US and its allies they accuse of wanting to dominate and change the rules in the Indo-Pacific.

The text does not explicitly mention Taiwan, a topic that he admitted having discussed the day before with the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, who reiterated the importance of “a stable relationship between China and the US for regional peace and security. », when tension grows between the two over Pelosi’s plans.

The increasingly plausible possibility that she will arrive on Tuesday night in Taiwan, the self-governing island whose sovereignty is claimed by Beijing, has captured the attention of her trip, with Taiwanese media assuming that the Democrat will travel there today from Malaysia.

Without being confirmed by Pelosi or the White House, the US Air Force plane (SPAR19) in which the president of the US Congress arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday around 10:30 local time (2:30 GMT ), took off from Kuala Lumpur at 3:42 p.m. (7:42 GMT), according to the Flightradar24 website, without specifying a destination.

Citing anonymous sources, the Taiwanese newspapers The United Daily News, Liberty Times and China Times, among others, assured this Tuesday that the American will land at the Songshan airport in Taipei tonight, which is possible -if Pelosi travels in SPAR19- because it is a flight of less than five hours.

South Korea and Japan, the next destinations for the president of the US Congress, have confirmed, for their part, that Pelosi will not arrive in these countries until next Thursday and Friday, respectively.

TENSION BETWEEN CHINA AND THE US

Some speculations that raised the tension between China and the United States, since Taiwan is one of the biggest stumbling blocks in their relations, since the US in principle would defend the island in the event of an attack by Beijing, although Washington maintains a ambiguous position on the matter.

Thus, the spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying – who does not usually appear in public except on highly important occasions, the last being on February 24, when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began – warned on Tuesday that Taiwan faces “disastrous consequences” if the visit occurs.

“It is hard to imagine a more reckless and provocative action” than Pelosi’s visit, said Hua, who scorned US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statements about the “independent” status of the US House of Representatives. .UU, to disassociate the possible trip from the US Government.

“All US government agencies must implement the foreign policies that their government has committed to and recognizes,” Hua insisted, adding that “if the third most important person in the US government becomes Taiwan in a military plane”, his visit “will in no way be unofficial”.

If it does happen, it would be the first trip to Taiwan by a US House Speaker since 1997, and while Beijing’s response is still unknown, it is expected to make a show of force.

CHINESE MILITARY DEPLOYMENT

This Tuesday, Taiwanese media reported the sighting of a Chinese destroyer ship on Lanyu Island, controlled by Taipei and located 64 kilometers from Taiwan, while Chinese naval authorities announced the closure of maritime traffic in areas of the South China Sea due to military maneuvers.

China claims sovereignty over the island and has considered Taiwan a rebellious province since the Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the civil war against the communists.

Although the United States does not maintain official relations with Taiwan, it is its main supplier of weapons and would be its greatest ally in the event of a war with China.

Pelosi’s visit would come less than a week after Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden held a telephone conversation on July 28 in which Xi reiterated Beijing’s opposition “to the Taiwan independence’ and ‘external interference’.

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