First, China escalates threats over Pelosi’s possible visit to Taiwan

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China has stepped up its threats over a possible visit by Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan this week and conducted naval exercises across the region, just hours before the US House of Representatives speaker is due to arrive in East Asia.

Pelosi’s office announced that a congressional delegation headed by the Speaker of Parliament left Sunday for Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. The statement did not confirm whether or when Pelosi would pursue her plans to visit Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing claims as an integral part of its sovereign territory.

Pelosi’s office said the purpose of the trip, which further strained the fragile relations between China and the United States, was to “reaffirm America’s strong and unwavering commitment to our allies and friends in the region.” The delegation includes the six chairmen of the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees in the House of Representatives.

Last week, during their first video call since March, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his US counterpart Joe Biden that the US was “playing with fire” by not stopping such visits by US delegations, which the Chinese government considers “interference by external forces”. in its internal affairs.

In a Chinese social media post on Saturday, Hu Xijin, the outspoken former state media editor, said, “It’s okay [for the People’s Liberation Army] to shoot down Pelosi’s plane “if US fighter jets escorted it to Taiwan.

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