Tue, 09 Aug 2022

Beijing [China], July 31 (ANI): Amid high tensions over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan, the Chinese military announced holding live-fire naval exercises in the Taiwan Strait, media reports said.

This comes as Speaker Pelosi prepares for her Asia visit. The visit which is mainly seen to build security and economic momentum for the Indo-Pacific is also seen as a move by US to build pressure on China over its claim on Taiwan.

On the other hand, US military officials are also moving forces into the ocean area near Taiwan ahead of the visit. The Pentagon has sent an aircraft carrier to the South China Sea ahead of Pelosi's possible visit, reported Fox News.

The USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered supercarrier in the service of the United States Navy, and a strike group are currently there after they left a port in Singapore Tuesday. A Navy spokesperson confirmed the news but said it was a planned trip.

"I can confirm USS Ronald Reagan and her strike group are now underway, operating in the South China Sea following a successful port visit to Singapore," Lt. Mark Langford said.

"As a matter of policy, we do not discuss future ship movements; however, I will add that Reagan is continuing normal, scheduled operations as part of her routine patrol in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific," he added.

China has once again warned the United States against going ahead with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan visit.

"Perhaps you missed our briefings in the past few days. We have repeatedly made clear our firm opposition to Speaker Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan," Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in a press conference on Wednesday.

"If the US side insists on making the visit and challenges China's red line, it will be met with resolute countermeasures. The US must assume full responsibility for any serious consequence arising thereof," he added.

Pelosi is reportedly planning to visit Taiwan, but the White House said her plans have not been locked in yet. Beijing warned the US against the House of Representatives Speaker's Taiwan visit saying that it will act strongly and take countermeasures if the US side insists on going ahead with the visit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Pelosi's Taiwan visit will have a severe negative impact on the political foundation of China-US relations.

Biden said the US military believes it is not a "good idea" for House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to travel to Taiwan as planned. "The military thinks it's not a good idea right now," Biden said on Wednesday as quoted by the White House press pool.

China has on many occasions firmly opposed any form of official interaction between the United States and the Taiwan region.

While warning against US House speaker's Taiwan visit, a Chinese state media outlet said, "If the news is true and the trip happens, it will be one of the most egregious provocations by the US to China on the Taiwan question since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the US."A Global Times editorial said visiting Taiwan is definitely a red line that Pelosi must never cross. Back in April, Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan had been postponed after she tested positive for COVID-19. At that time, Beijing had resolutely opposed any official exchange between the United States and Taiwan. (ANI)

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