China says its military will never “sit idly by” if US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi were to visit Taiwan, the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.
In Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian reiterated earlier warnings on Monday, saying “there will be serious consequences if she insists on making the visit”. He did not spell out any specific consequences.
“We are fully prepared for any eventuality,” he said. “The People’s Liberation Army [PLA] will never sit by idly. China will take strong and resolute measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
China has been steadily ratcheting up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan. Threats of retaliation over a visit by Pelosi have driven concerns of a new crisis in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two sides, that could roil global markets and supply chains.
Several Taiwan media outlets reported late on Monday that Pelosi was set to visit Taiwan on Tuesday and spend the night in Taipei, citing unnamed sources.
One of the newspapers, the Liberty Times, said Pelosi was scheduled to visit Taiwan’s parliament on Wednesday morning before continuing her Asia trip.