China steps up warning to the United States over House Speaker Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her weekly press conference with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 14, 2022. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

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(Reuters) – China has issued stark special warnings to the Biden administration about a possible trip to Taiwan in August by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

The report quoted six people familiar with China’s warnings as saying they were much stronger than threats made by Beijing in the past when it was unhappy with US actions or policy on Taiwan, which is claimed by China.

The Financial Times quoted a number of people familiar with the situation as saying that the private letter indicated a possible military response.

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The White House National Security Council and the State Department declined to comment on the report. China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Sunday.

China is intensifying its military activity around Taiwan in an effort to pressure the democratically elected government there to accept Chinese sovereignty. Taiwan’s government says only the island’s 23 million residents can decide their future, and while it wants peace it will defend itself if attacked.

The Financial Times reported on Monday that Pelosi plans to visit Taiwan in August.

The next day, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that a visit to Taiwan would seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that the United States would bear the consequences of its response.

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden said he plans to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping by the end of the month. Biden seemed to question reports of Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

“I think the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now, but I don’t know what the situation is,” Biden told reporters. Read more

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Rachna Dhanrajani coverage in Bengaluru; Editing by Grant McCall

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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