Nancy Pelosi confirms Asia trip, but no mention of Taiwan

US House Speaker's potential trip to island has sparked tensions between Washington and Beijing

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed she would be travelling to four Asian countries, but made no mention of a trip to Taiwan. Reuters
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US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to visit four Asian countries this week but has made no mention of Taiwan, a potential scenario that has resulted in escalating threats from Beijing.

Ms Pelosi will lead a Congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic, trade, economic growth and "democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region", her office said in a statement on Sunday.

"Under the strong leadership of President [Joe] Biden, America is firmly committed to smart, strategic engagement in the region, understanding that a free and flourishing Indo-Pacific is crucial to prosperity in our nation and around the globe," Ms Pelosi said.

The House Speaker has yet to confirm reports of her potential travel to Taiwan. Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Mr Biden not to meddle in the country's dealings with the island during a phone call on Thursday.

"Those who play with fire will eventually get burnt," Mr Xi was quoted as telling Mr Biden, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The White House did not explicitly urge Ms Pelosi to travel to Taiwan and sought to assure Beijing there was no reason to "come to blows" if she does visit the island.

"There's no reason for that because there's been no change in American policy with respect to 'One China'," National Security spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Friday.

Under Washington's "One China" policy, the US recognises Beijing as the government of China and does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but it does send military defence equipment to the island.

Ms Pelosi will be accompanied by five House Democrats during her visit to the region. No Republicans were listed to be included in the trip, according to a release from her office.

Updated: July 31, 2022, 5:15 PM