China says military will not 'sit idly' if Pelosi makes Taiwan trip

China says Pelosi merely announcing the trip has caused "extremely serious damage" to the relationship with U.S.

Updated: July 26, 2022 - 4:26pm

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China is threatening to use its military to "take strong measures" in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's upcoming trip to Taiwan, and a Defense Ministry official said her planned visit has already "caused extremely serious damage" to U.S.-China relations.

As third in line for the presidency, the California Democrat would be the highest-ranking American politician to travel to Taiwan in 25 years, when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich visited.

"China has repeatedly stated its firm opposition," Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei told reporters Tuesday, as translated by Google.

Her visit would "seriously violate the One China principle and ... seriously endanger China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he said, focusing on the United States' 1972 agreement that only one China exists and Taiwan is part of it.

Pelosi, a Democrat, was scheduled to visit Taiwan in April but had to postpone the visit after she tested positive for COVID. Pelosi is now planning on visiting the small island nation in August. 

In the days since Pelosi recently announced her updated travel plan, China has opposed the idea and vowed to respond.

China has increasingly flexed its military might in the air and sea near Taiwan as the country seeks to become more independent. 

Tan has also said Pelosi's trip her would "caused extremely serious damage to the relationship between China and the United States and the two militaries, leading to further escalation of tensions in the Taiwan Strait."

President Joe Biden told reporters last week that U.S. military officials say Pelosi's visit is "not a good idea right now."

Beijing appears to be building up its naval presence around Taiwan over the past several months, raising concerns from Republican lawmakers that another invasion similar to that of Ukraine could unfold.

"China requires the US to take concrete actions to fulfill its commitment not to support 'Taiwan independence' and not to arrange for Pelosi to visit Taiwan," Tan demanded.