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‘Speaker has the right to visit Taiwan’: White House asks China to not turn Pelosi’s visit into ‘crisis’

Washington, USEdited By: Srishti Singh SisodiaUpdated: Aug 02, 2022, 07:24 PM IST
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(left)File photo of Nancy Pelosi. (right)Taiwanese Presidential Office is seen through barbed wire fence. Photograph:(Reuters)

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In its message to China, the White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Nancy Pelosi would have every right to visit the self-ruled island and added that China need not turn her visit into a ‘crisis’ 

The US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Asia tour is becoming a matter of controversy as a potential Taiwan visit irked China. After Pelosi kicked off her tour in Singapore on Monday, Beijing even said that its military will “not sit idly by”. 

China has issued several warnings. Beijing is angry because of Pelosi’s status as the “No. 3 official of the US government”. China believes that a visit to Taiwan would “lead to egregious political impact”. 

Now, in the latest development, the White House warned China against overreacting to a trip by Pelosi to Taiwan. Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS reported citing sources that the US House of Representatives Speaker will arrive in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan on Tuesday.

In its message to China, the White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Pelosi would have every right to visit the self-ruled island and added that China need not turn any visit by Pelosi into a “crisis”. Kirby even warned that Beijing may be “positioning” itself for a show of military strength around the island.

Reports mentioned that the White House and State Department are opposed to Pelosi’s trip. But Kirby made it clear that the speaker was entitled to go where she pleased.

Kirby said, “The speaker has the right to visit Taiwan. There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with longstanding US policies into some sort of crisis.” 

China has claimed Taiwan as its own territory since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s. China has even said that, in case needed, it will use force to unite the two territories. 

The United States says it backs Taiwan’s sovereignty but such statements have angered China as it warned President Joe Biden that his administration saying that the US was playing “with fire” and announced a series of live-fire military drills in the Taiwan Strait.  

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