Apr 7, 2022 - World

China warns Pelosi's reported Taiwan trip will have "consequences"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaking in Washington, D.C., on April 5.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaking in Washington, D.C., on April 5. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

China warned Thursday it would "take strong measures" if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visits Taiwan, as media reports emerged of a trip that was planned for this weekend.

The latest: Pelosi tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, postponing a "planned Congressional delegation to Asia" led by Pelosi to a later date, according to her Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill.

  • Hammill did not say where in Asia the delegation would travel or exactly when the trip was scheduled to take place.

Why it matters: Pelosi's trip, which was reportedly scheduled for this weekend, would have been the first visit by a serving U.S. House speaker since 1997, when Newt Gingrich visited the island nation, which Beijing considers to be part of China.

  • Axios could not confirm whether Pelosi was officially travelling to the island. Her office said it "cannot confirm or deny international travel in advance due to long-standing security protocols."

What they're saying: "If the United States insists on having its own way, China will take strong measures in response to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters, according to Reuters.

  • "All possible consequences that arise from this will completely be borne by the U.S. side," he added.
  • Beijing opposes any formal interaction between the U.S. and Taiwan, though the U.S. still supports the island militarily and politically.

The other side: The Kuomintang, a major Taiwanese political party, welcomed Pelosi's visit in a tweet Thursday, saying it "hopes to exchange views on matters of mutual interests during the visit."

The big picture: Russia's invasion of Ukraine has raised concerns that China could be studying the Kremlin's invasion for its own military assault against Taiwan, though the democratic island is also taking lessons from Ukraine's response.

Go deeper: Report: U.S. admiral says China has fully militarized three islands in South China Sea

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.

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