What to expect from US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Asia tour
- Nancy Pelosi arrived in Singapore on Monday
- The Democrat has not confirmed her visit to Taiwan
- China warned US against Pelosi's possible trip to Taiwan
Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, arrived in Singapore on Monday to kick off her trip to Asia. All eyes will be on the Congresswoman, who has sparked tensions with Beijing over a possible visit to Taiwan.
Pelosi, 82, has still not confirmed her visit to Taiwan. However, the Democrat has publicly laid out plans for the rest of her tour. Pelosi arrived in Singapore days after Chinese leader Xi Jinping warned US President Joe Biden against the trip. "Whoever plays with fire will get burnt", he said.
Pelosi will call on Singapore President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and meet with a number of Cabinet Ministers, said a spokesperson for Singapore’s foreign ministry.
She is also expected to attend a cocktail reception with the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore. There is no media access to her visit, which has been kept under tight wraps.
In a statement over the weekend, Pelosi said she will also visit Malaysia, South Korea and Japan to discuss trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, security and "democratic governance."
A visit to Taiwan would be a career capstone for Pelosi, who increasingly uses her position in Congress as a US emissary on the global stage. She has long challenged China on human rights and wanted to visit Taiwan earlier this year.
Why is China bothered by Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan?
Beijing sees official American contact with Taiwan as an encouragement to make its decades-old independence permanent, a step multiple American politicians say they don’t support. Pelosi, the legislative head of the US government, would be the highest-ranking elected American official to visit Taiwan since then-Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997.
The United States switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, but maintains informal relations with the island. US is obligated by federal law to see that Taiwan has the means to defend itself, AP reported.