Aug 1, 2022 - World

China says military "won't sit idly by" if Pelosi visits Taiwan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., arrives for her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on Friday, July 29, 2022
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives for her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on July 29. Photo: Jabin Botsford/Washington Post, via Getty Images

China warned Monday that its military "won't sit idly by" if U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visits Taiwan.

Driving the news: "Her stature as the No. 3 U.S. official means a trip would be highly sensitive," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday during a press briefing, Bloomberg reports.

  • "As to what measures, let's wait and see whether she insists on this visit."

The big picture: Lijian's remarks come as local media outlets in Taiwan and CNN have reported that Pelosi may stop in the self-governing island this week, despite warnings from Biden administration officials.

  • President Biden and military officials have warned against traveling to Taiwan, as the Chinese government has threatened to take "strong and resolute measures" in response to such a trip.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping last week warned Biden not to "play with fire" over the democratic island.
  • Pelosi has plans to travel to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan on a congressional trip this week to "reaffirm America's strong and unshakeable commitment to our allies and friends in the region."
  • China's Maritime Safety Administration said the country will stage military exercises in the South China Sea from Tuesday to Saturday and warned ships against entering the area.

Between the lines: If Pelosi visits, she'd be the highest-ranking U.S. lawmaker to go to Taiwan since former Speaker Newt Gingrich made the trip in 1997.

Go deeper... China warns of "strong and resolute measures" if Pelosi visits Taiwan

Editor's note: This article is updated with new details on Chinese military exercises.

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