China has reportedly raised the stakes in its row with Washington over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned trip to Taiwan, saying it may respond militarily if the California Democrat goes through with the visit.
The latest warnings were privately issued to members of President Joe Biden’s administration, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing six unidentified people familiar with the matter. The statement was significantly stronger than the warnings that Chinese officials have given in the past over controversial US actions or policy decisions related to Taiwan.
Pelosi is reportedly scheduled to visit Taipei next month, in what would be the first trip by a House speaker to the breakaway republic since 1997. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said last Tuesday that Pelosi’s trip would have a “grave impact” on US-China ties. “If the US were to insist on going down the wrong path, China will take resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. All the ensuing consequences shall be borne by the US side.”