Nancy Pelosi kicks off Asia trip, but no mention of Taiwan
Nancy Pelosi, the United States House Speaker has arrived in Singapore on Monday morning, the first leg of her Asia trip. But the questions are twirling as Pelosi’s “probable” visit to Taiwan is still lacking clarity from the White House. In a press release on Sunday, Pelosi said a delegation would travel to the Indo-Pacific “to reaffirm America’s strong and unshakeable commitment to our allies and friends in the region”.
The recent conversation between President Joe Biden and his Chinese counter part Xi Jinping, where Biden warned Jinping of “playing with fire” over escalating tension with Taiwan, reiterates Washington’s position in the region’s geopolitics. But lack of clarity on Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has raised question over the stand on ground.
Pelosi’s Asia trip
The delegation headed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Hawaii on Sunday. There are stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. As shared by Pelosi, there would be “high-level meetings” in these countries with agenda including discussions towards advancement of “shared interests and values” including peace and security. The press release, however, did not mention any planned trip to Taiwan. Before leaving for the trip, Pelosi said she will also visit “Malaysia, South Korea and Japan to discuss trade, the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, security and democratic governance.”
In Singapore, Pelosi is scheduled to meet Singapore President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and also will meet the country’s cabinet ministers. The same was confirmed by Singapore’s foreign ministry spokesperson.
Pelosi’s delegation includes U.S. Reps. Gregory Meeks, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Mark Takano, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs; Suzan DelBene, vice chair of the House Ways and Means Committee; Raja Krishnamoorthi, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and chair of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform; and Andy Kim, a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.
Why Taiwan visit holds importance?
It is known Biden Presidency’s stand when it comes to Beijing’s advances towards Taiwan and its growing regional aggression. China’s President Xi Jinping has warned Washington against meddling in the “internal matters” of Beijing, and any direct contact of US officials to Taiwan is seen as a reason for China to accelerate its advances to accelerate its efforts to bring the territory under its formal rule. The Biden administration has tried to assure Beijing “there was no reason to come to blows and that if such a visit occurred, it would signal no change in U.S. policy”.