House Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed Sunday that she will lead a delegation to Asia, but did not mention Taiwan.
Recent reports that Pelosi (the second-in-line) was planning to visit the self ruled island claimed to be China’s have angered Xi Jinping, who warned President Joe Biden “those who play in fire will perish by them.”
Pelosi stated in a Sunday statement that her trip to the Indo-Pacific will include visits to Japan, South Korea, South Korea, Malaysia and South Korea to discuss how they can further advance their shared values and interests, including trade and security.
Pelosi stated that “Under President Biden’s strong leadership, America is firmly committed smart, strategic engagement within the region, understanding the importance of a free Indo-Pacific, flourishing Indo-Pacific, to prosperity in our nation, and around the world,”
Pelosi stated Sunday that the delegation stopped in Hawaii for fuel. There, members were briefed and informed by the Indo-Pacific commander of the U.S military. They also visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial as well as the USS Arizona.
Representative Gregory Meeks, chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee and Mark Takano (chairman, House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs), are the members of the delegation. The delegation will also include Andy Kim, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Suzan Delbene.
After she was found to be positive for COVID-19, the California Democrat planned to make a stop at Taipei during a planned Asia tour in April.
Joanne Ou, spokesperson for Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Washington Post that she had “no additional information to share with media at the moment”.
Washington is increasingly concerned about Beijing’s plans to take over the democratic island of 23million people. This concern has grown since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. China has intensified military provocations against Taiwan over the past few months with frequent incursions into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Area.