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U.S. Warns China Not to Turn Pelosi’s Expected Trip to Taiwan Into a ‘Crisis’

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday warned China not to respond with military provocations to an expected visit to Taiwan by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, even as US officials tried to reassure Beijing that such a trip would not be the first of its kind and no change. in regional policy.

As tensions mounted during Ms. Pelosi’s travels through Asia, John F. Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said the government was concerned that China might fire missiles into the Taiwan Strait and warplanes into the air defense zone or the podium of Taiwan. large scale naval or air operations that cross the center line in the middle of the strait.

“There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with long-standing US policy into some kind of crisis or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait.” Kirby said at a White House briefing. . “Meanwhile,” he added, “our actions are not threatening or breaking new ground. Nothing about this potential visit — potential visit — which has precedent, by the way, would change the status quo.”

Mr. Kirby did not say whether US intelligence agencies had uncovered concrete indications of Chinese actions, but he was extremely specific in outlining the possible responses the United States expected. White House officials have expressed concern that a visit from Ms. Pelosi would spark a dangerous cycle of escalation in Asia, while Washington is already helping Ukraine fend off the Russian invasion.

He even addressed the frictions in Taiwan moments after the White House announced an additional $550 million worth of weapons would be sent to Ukraine, bringing the total to more than $8 billion since the invasion began in February and underlining how much of America’s military industrial capacity. invested in the war in Europe.

Ms. Pelosi, an old Chinese hawk, has not confirmed that she plans to visit Taiwan, even though she stopped in Singapore on Monday, but all indications indicate that she will make a stop on the self-governing island without prior notice. She originally planned to go to Taiwan in April, but canceled that trip after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Mr Kirby said US officials did not necessarily expect an attack from China in response, but warned that the possible military demonstrations of violence could inadvertently spark conflict. “It increases the risk of miscalculation, which can lead to unintended consequences,” Mr Kirby said.

He seemed particularly intent on getting the message to Beijing that it should not regard a visit by Mrs. Pelosi as another provocation by the United States, as she would not be the first speaker to go there; Speaker Newt Gingrich retired in Taiwan in 1997. Mr. Kirby also repeatedly stressed that the United States still subscribed to its one-China policy of not recognizing Taiwan’s independence.

“We’ve explained very clearly whether she’s going — if she’s going — it’s not unprecedented,” he said. “It’s not new. It doesn’t change anything.”

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