SINGAPORE — Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and her delegation on Monday (1 August) met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana, as her visit to Asia continues to be overshadowed by speculation over a possible stop in Taiwan.
Pelosi also met with Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan at the Istana and called on President Halimah Yacob.
During their meeting, Lee highlighted the importance of stable US-China relations for regional peace and security to the US delegation. The two sides also discussed the war in Ukraine, cross-strait relations, and climate change, and affirmed the close partnership between Singapore and the US, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
On Sunday, Pelosi confirmed that she will visit Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan but did not mention Taiwan as part of her itinerary. Beijing has long maintained a hardline stance on Taiwan, claiming that the island is part of its territory under the one-China policy.
On Thursday, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned his American counterpart Joe Biden in a phone call against any interference in Taiwan affairs.
In bellicose language to warn the US of serious repercussions over the issue, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Friday, “Resolutely safeguarding China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity is the firm will of the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people. Those who play with fire will perish by it.”
Zhao repeated the warning on Monday, saying that “there will be serious consequences if she insists on making the visit".
If Pelosi were to visit Taiwan, she would be the highest-ranking US government official to do so since then-Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997.
While in Singapore, the US delegation will also meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean and Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam.
In addition to Pelosi, the US delegation, who is on a two-day visit in Singapore, also comprises Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Gregory Meeks (D-New York), Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee Mark Takano (D-California), Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-Washington), Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois), and Congressman Andy Kim (D-New Jersey).
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