House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will reportedly visit Taiwan on Tuesday during her tour of Asia, despite warnings from the Biden administration and threats from China.
Though Pelosi did not include Taiwan in her public plans, Taiwanese media are now reporting that she will touch down in Taipei on Tuesday night.
The Taiwanese broadcaster TVBS reported Pelosi may meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Reports are also surfacing that the U.S. is moving ships and planes closer to the island, perhaps in preparation for the Speaker’s trip.
CNN also confirmed Pelosi’s plans, with a Taiwanese official telling the outlet the speaker would stay in the country overnight.
Beijing, which claims the island as its own, has said such a high-level U.S. delegation visit would “have severe negative impact on the political foundation of China-US relations, and send a gravely wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces.”
President Biden said earlier this month that “the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now” for the Speaker to make the trip. Former President Trump also said Pelosi’s potential trip might make tensions worse.
However, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been largely supportive of the visit.
“I hope she stands up to the pressure that she’s going to get, and is already getting, from President Biden and the administration. I think it’s important that we show solidarity with our ally Taiwan,” Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), co-chairman of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, told The Hill.
“So I commend her for making the decision to go. I hope she sticks to her guns,” he added.
The Hill has reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment.