China Threats Over Nancy Pelosi's Muted Taiwan Visit—In Full

China has made several threats over U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's planned visit to Taiwan, an independently-governed country that the People's Republic sees as part of its own territory.

China has vowed to claim Taiwan as Chinese territory—by force if necessary.

A diplomatic standoff is taking place between Beijing and Washington about Pelosi's muted planned visit and recognition of Taiwan's independence from China.

On Monday, Tingting Liu, a journalist at Taiwanese news channel TVBS, reported that sources had told her Pelosi will be arriving in the capital Taipei on Tuesday night. CNN also reported that the visit is expected to go ahead, citing senior Taiwanese and U.S. officials. It would be the first time a U.S. House speaker has visited the self-governing island since Newt Gingrich did in 1997.

Zhao Lijian in press conference 2
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian has threatened the U.S. over a planned visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which it sees as Chinese territory. Above, Lijian takes a question at the daily media briefing in Beijing on April 8, 2020. Greg Baker/AFP

A Taiwan visit is not scheduled in Pelosi's official schedule, but she is due to meet with officials from Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. The senior Democrat and several other representatives visited Singapore on Monday.

The Taiwanese government has not commented on Pelosi's planned visit.

Several times, Beijing has made it clear that such a visit would be a provocation. Here is a rundown of China's threats over the visit.

July 19

Chinese Foreign Ministry Zhao Lijian said: "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. It will have a severe negative impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and send a gravely wrong signal to 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces. China firmly opposes such a visit."

"The U.S. must not arrange for Speaker Pelosi to visit the Taiwan region and must stop official interactions with Taiwan, stop creating factors that could lead to tensions in the Taiwan Strait, and follow through on the U.S.'s commitment of not supporting 'Taiwan independence.' Should the U.S. side insist on doing otherwise, China will take strong and resolute measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. The U.S. must assume full responsibility for any ensuing consequences," he added.

July 21

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said: "The U.S. side insists on making the visit, China will act strongly to resolutely respond to it and take countermeasures. We mean what we say."

July 25

Lijian said: "The Chinese side has repeatedly made clear to the U.S. side our serious concern over Speaker Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan and our firm opposition to the visit. We are fully prepared for any eventuality. If the U.S. side insists on making the visit, the Chinese side will take firm and strong measures to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity. The U.S. must assume full responsibility for any serious consequence arising thereof."

July 27

Lijian threatened "firm and resolute measures" if Pelosi visited Taiwan.

"The U.S. will be responsible for all of the serious consequences," Zhao added.

June 29

Zhao said that if Pelosi visited Taiwan, the Chinese military "will never sit idly by, and will certainly take strong and resolute measures to thwart any interference by external forces and secessionist attempts for 'Taiwan independence.'"

"We Chinese mean what we say," he repeated.

"We are closely following the itinerary of Speaker Pelosi. A visit to Taiwan by her would constitute a gross interference in China's internal affairs, seriously undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, wantonly trample on the one-China principle, greatly threaten peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, severely undermine China-U.S. relations and lead to a very serious situation and grave consequences."

Lijian said that China would take "firm and strong measures to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity."

August 1

Following the CNN and TVBS news about the Pelosi visit, China's foreign ministry said: "China will take resolute and strong measures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. As for what measures exactly we will take, let's wait and see if she dares making [sic] the visit."

Zhao Lijian said in a news conference said such a visit would lead to "serious consequences."

"As President Xi Jinping stressed to U.S. President Joe Biden in their phone call, the position of the Chinese government and people on the Taiwan question is consistent, and resolutely safeguarding China's national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people. The public opinion cannot be defied. Those who play with fire will perish by it. We believe that the US side is fully aware of China's strong and clear message."

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