Pelosi's plans to visit Taiwan are met with suggestions to "restrain" and "punish" her

The Chinese government warns of "forceful measures" if Pelosi follows through with her plans to visit next month

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published July 21, 2022 6:57PM (EDT)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Getty Images)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Getty Images)

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has a trip to Taiwan in the works for next month, which would mark the first time in 25 years that a House speaker has visited the country, but Chinese government is warning against it — and President Biden agrees that it's probably not a good idea for her to follow through with the plan.

The news of Pelosi's travel arrangements were confirmed by two sources, as reported on by Politico, and this is after a previous plan was cancelled back in April. 

"If Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan, it would seriously violate the one-China principle and the stipulations in the three China-U.S. joint communiqués and harm China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

An even stronger urge for Pelosi to stay put comes from Hu Xijin, former chief editor of the Chinese Communist Party's state tabloid, the Global Times who commented on Twitter that "Biden is supposed to have the ability to prevent the reckless visit of Pelosi, rather than 'I don't know what the status of it is.' If the US can't restrain her, let China restrain her & punish her. PLA Air Force will surely make her visit a disgrace to herself and to the US."

Xijin's mention of Biden being unaware of Pelosi's status is in reference to a comment the President made earlier this week saying "The military thinks it's not a good idea right now . . .  "But I don't know what the status of it is."

"If the U.S. side obstinately clings to this course, China will definitely take resolute and forceful measures to firmly defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Lijian furthers. 

"The Chinese response to her visit is probably going to be different than they have been for previous congressional delegations," Drew Thompson, visiting senior research fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and a former US defense official said in a quote to Bloomberg. "The question is what."

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As for Pelosi's reason for wanting to make the trip in the first place, Newsweek reports that her visit would be "a show of support for the island, which is under increased political, economic and military pressure from China."

By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

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