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Blinken distances White House from Pelosi trip to Taiwan

The decision is “entirely” the speaker’s own, top US diplomat claims

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that as the third-highest level official in the US government, Nancy Pelosi is free to make her own decisions and travel plans, warning China not to escalate tensions if the House of Representatives Speaker ends up visiting Taiwan.

“The speaker will make her own decisions about whether or not to visit Taiwan. The Congress is an independent, coequal branch of government. The decision is entirely the speaker’s,” Blinken told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York following a Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference on Monday.

The top US diplomat moved on to blame Beijing for exaggerating the significance of the rumored trip, claiming that if “China tries to create some kind of crisis or otherwise escalate tensions, that would be entirely on Beijing.”

Blinken said that Washington expects Beijijng to “act responsibly and not to engage in any escalation going forward,” if Pelosi eventually decided to visit Taiwan, as reported by multiple media citing sources both in the US and in Taipei.

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US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is shown at a ceremony last Friday in Washington.
US sees China plotting military ‘provocations’

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also repeatedly emphasized that Biden’s administration had no control over Pelosi’s possible visit, given that Congress is an independent branch of government, and that her trip wouldn’t reflect any change in US policy.

“The speaker has the right to visit Taiwan, and the speaker of the House has visited Taiwan without incident,” Kirby reiterated on Monday, alluding to a 1997 trip by Newt Gingrich. He added, “Nothing has changed about our One China policy…”

Beijing has repeatedly warned that the One-China principle of acknowledging the mainland’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan is a red line in it’s relations with other countries that no one is allowed to cross.

Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949, after China’s nationalist government fled to the island following its defeat in the civil war. Beijing considers the island an integral part of the country’s territory.

https://ift.tt/XD3vlpk 02, 2022 at 10:36AM
from RT – Daily news

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