China threatens ‘strong measures’ if Pelosi visits Taiwan

China will take “resolute and strong measures” should the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi proceed with reported plans to visit Taiwan, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Pelosi, who is second in line to the presidency, is due to visit the self-governing island China claims as its own territory in August, according to a report in the Financial Times.

She was originally scheduled to visit in April but had to postpone after she tested positive for COVID-19.

Pelosi would be the highest ranking American lawmaker to visit the close U.S. ally since her predecessor as speaker, Newt Gingrich, traveled there 25 years ago.

China has vowed to annex Taiwan by force if necessary, and has advertised that threat by flying warplanes near Taiwanese airspace and holding military exercises based on invasion scenarios. It says those actions are aimed at deterring advocates of the island’s formal independence and foreign allies – principally the U.S. – from coming to its aid, more than 70 years after the sides split amid civil war.

A visit by Pelosi would “severely undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, gravely impact the foundation of China-U.S. relations and send a seriously wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijiang said at a daily briefing.

“If the U.S. were to insist on going down the wrong path, China will take resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao said.

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