China’s UN envoy delivers a warning over a potential visit by Pelosi to Taiwan

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China’s UN envoy delivers a warning over a potential visit by Pelosi to Taiwan

According to Zhang Jun, China’s ambassador to the UN, a potential trip by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the independent island of Taiwan would deteriorate ties between China and the US.

According to media sources, Pelosi, who is third in line for the US presidency, may travel to Taiwan on Tuesday, making her the highest-ranking American politician to do so since 1997.

“Such a visit is apparently dangerous and provocative,” Zhang Jun said during a briefing on Monday. Among other things, it would “send a wrong signal to the separatist elements” in Taiwan, infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, threaten peace and stability in the region, and “undermine the relationship between China and the US,” he added.

“China is fully prepared to respond. If the US insists on making the visit, China will take firm and strong measures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the US has to bear all the serious consequences arising thereof,” the envoy warned.

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According to the One China policy, Beijing, which views Taiwan as an important part of its territory, has previously warned the US multiple times about Pelosi’s claimed plans to visit Taipei.

Zhang reaffirmed that the One China concept is “a red line” that would never be crossed in Beijing’s interactions with foreign countries.

He mentioned that US President Joe Biden gave his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping assurances that the US still supported the One China policy during a phone chat last week and urged Washington to “follow its promises.”

Since 1979, the US has recognized Beijing as the only legal government in China, but it nevertheless maintains close unofficial connections with Taiwan, giving Taipei cutting-edge weapons and supporting its bid for independence.

The 23.5 million-person island, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), has been self-governing since 1949 but has never formally renounced Beijing.

“In recent years, due to the influence of some external forces, the situation in Taiwan has changed for the worse, and the ‘Taiwan independence’ elements are moving down on the wrong path. Without prompt containment measures against them, the situation may risk losing control,” China’s UN envoy warned.

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When asked to compare Pelosi’s possible trip to Taiwan to then-US House speaker Newt Gingrich’s visit back in 1997, Zhang stressed that “a previous mistake doesn’t make the following mistake legitimate.”

Pelosi did not mention Taiwan when she announced the destinations of her tour of Asia on Sunday, saying only that “high-level meetings” were planned in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.

On Saturday, China held live-fire military training just across the Taiwan Strait from the mainland off the coast of the province of Fujian.

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