US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is second in line to the presidential succession, has announced she would carry on with her plans to lead a delegation of lawmakers from her country on an Asian tour, but there was no mention of Taiwan.
Beijing had warned it would shoot down her aircraft if it came to be because from China's angle the island is but a rogue province still to rejoin the country after the 1949 civil war and those who play with fire will perish by it.
Pelosi's trip includes stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, her office confirmed through a statement: Today our Congressional delegation travels to the Indo-Pacific to reaffirm America's strong and unwavering commitment to our allies and friends in the region. The Democratic leader's entourage includes five members of Congress, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks among them.
The delegation will hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can continue to advance our shared interests and values, including peace and security, economic growth and trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, human rights, and democratic governance, the statement went on.
The Chinese government opposes any initiative that would give international legitimacy to Taiwanese authorities and any official contact between Taiwan and other countries.
Last Thursday, President Joseph Biden was warned over the telephone by his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping not to play with fire. Biden replied that the US position on Taiwan did not change and that his country opposed unilateral efforts to change the status or threaten peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Since 1979, the United States has recognized one China with its capital in Beijing. It does not officially recognize Taiwan but supports it militarily as it did last week during drills simulating the interception of Chinese attacks from the sea, while the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its flotilla sailed from Singapore for the South China Sea.
China responded Saturday with a live ammunition military exercise in the Taiwan Strait. China's Air Force spokesman insisted Sunday that defending Chinese territory was the military's sacred mission.