cloudy.png
Saturday December 3rd, 2022 2:44PM

Pelosi arrives in Malaysia, tensions rise over Taiwan visit

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday for the second leg of an Asian tour that has been overshadowed by an expected stop in Taiwan, which would escalate tensions with Beijing that claims the self-ruled island as its own territory.

The plane carrying Pelosi and her delegation touched down at an air force base amid tight security. She called on lower house Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun in Parliament and adjourned for a luncheon meet with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

While there have been no official announcements, local media in Taiwan reported that Pelosi will arrive in Taipei on Tuesday night, becoming the highest-ranking elected U.S. official to visit in more than 25 years. The United Daily News, Liberty Times and China Times — Taiwan’s three largest national newspapers — cited unidentified sources as saying she would fly to Taipei and spend the night after visiting Malaysia.

China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province to be annexed by force if necessary, has warned of repercussions, saying its military will “never sit idly by" if Pelosi pushes ahead with the visit. China's threats of retaliation have driven concerns of a new crisis in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two sides, that could roil global markets and supply chains.

The White House on Monday decried Beijing's rhetoric, saying the U.S. has no interest in deepening tensions with China and “will not take the bait or engage in saber rattling.”

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby underscored that the decision on whether to visit the self-ruled island was ultimately Pelosi’s. He noted that members of Congress have routinely visited Taiwan over the years.

Kirby said administration officials are concerned that Beijing could use the visit as an excuse to take provocative retaliatory steps, including military action such as firing missiles in the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan, or flying sorties into the island’s airspace and carrying out large-scale naval exercises in the strait.

“Put simply, there is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with long-standing U.S. policy into some sort of crisis or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait,” Kirby said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also urged China to “act responsibly” in the event that Pelosi proceeds with the visit.

“If the speaker does decide to visit, and China tries to create some kind of a crisis or otherwise escalate tensions, that would be entirely on Beijing,” he told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York. “We are looking for them, in the event she decides to visit, to act responsibly and not to engage in any escalation going forward.”

U.S. officials have said the military would increase its movement of forces and assets in the Indo-Pacific region if Pelosi visits Taiwan. U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group were in the Philippine Sea on Monday, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss military operations.

The Reagan, the cruiser USS Antietam and the destroyer USS Higgins left Singapore after a port visit and moved north to their homeport in Japan. The carrier has an array of aircraft, including F/A-18 fighter jets and helicopters, on board as well as sophisticated radar systems and other weapons.

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after the Communists won a civil war on the mainland. The U.S. maintains informal relations and defense ties with Taiwan even as it recognizes Beijing as the government of China.

Beijing sees official American contact with Taiwan as encouragement to make the island’s decades-old de facto independence permanent, a step U.S. leaders say they don’t support. Pelosi, head of one of three branches of the U.S. government, would be the highest-ranking elected American official to visit Taiwan since then-Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997.

Pelosi kicked off her Asian tour in Singapore on Monday but her purported visit to Taiwan has sparked jitters in the region.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong “highlighted the importance of stable U.S.-China relations for regional peace and security” during talks with Pelosi, the city-state's foreign ministry said. This was echoed by Japan’s Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in Tokyo, who said stable ties between the two rival powers “are extremely important for the international community as well.”

The Philippines urged U.S. and China to be “responsible actors" in the region. “It is important for the U.S. and China to ensure continuing communication to avoid any miscalculation and further escalation of tensions," said Foreign Affairs spokesperson Teresita Daza.

China has been steadily ratcheting up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan. China cut off all contact with Taiwan’s government in 2016 after President Tsai Ing-wen refused to endorse its claim that the island and mainland together make up a single Chinese nation, with the Communist regime in Beijing being the sole legitimate government.

On Thursday, Pelosi is to meet with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo in Seoul for talks on security in the Indo-Pacific region, economic cooperation and the climate crisis, according to Kim’s office. Pelosi is also due to visit Japan, but it is unclear when she heading there.

________

Associated Press journalists Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Arizona's Arpaio tries to become suburban mayor after losses
Former Phoenix metro Sheriff Joe Arpaio is making his third political comeback attempt
12:44AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Arizona GOP primary tests power of Trump's election lies
The Republican Party’s embrace of Donald Trump’s election lies will be tested in Arizona
12:21AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Braves get OF Robbie Grossman from Tigers for minor leaguer
The defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves have acquired veteran corner outfielder Robbie Grossman in a trade with the Detroit Tigers for minor league pitcher Kris Anglin
12:21AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Pelosi arrives in Malaysia, tensions rise over Taiwan visit
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has arrived in Malaysia for the second leg of an Asian tour that has been clouded by an expected stop in Taiwan, which would escalate tensions with Beijing
12:04AM ( 53 minutes ago )
Kansas first state to vote on abortion since Roe’s demise
Kansas is having the first test of voters’ feelings since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade
11:42PM ( 1 hour ago )
2 found dead in charred car within California wildfire zone
At least two people have died from a raging California blaze that's one of several menacing thousands of homes Monday in the Western U.S. The Siskyou County Sheriff's Office says two bodies were found inside a charred vehicle Sunday in a driveway of a home near the remote community of Klamath River in Northern California
11:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
California governor declares monkeypox state of emergency
California’s governor has declared a state of emergency to speed efforts to combat the monkeypox outbreak
10:58PM ( 1 hour ago )
EXPLAINER: Who was al-Zawahri — and why did US kill him?
A U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan this weekend killed Ayman al-Zawahri, who helped Osama bin Laden plot the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and helped ensure al-Qaida survived and spread in the years after
10:27PM ( 2 hours ago )
Biden: Killing of al-Qaida leader is long-sought 'justice'
President Joe Biden has announced that al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Kabul
10:22PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
More rain, more bodies in flooded Kentucky mountain towns
Another round of rainstorms are hitting flooded Kentucky mountain communities
10:39PM ( 2 hours ago )
Watching al-Qaida chief's 'pattern of life' key to his death
The seeds of the U.S. counterterrorism operation that killed al-Qaida's leader were planted over many months
10:28PM ( 2 hours ago )
2 bodies found in burned vehicle in California wildfire zone
California officials say two bodies were found inside a charred vehicle in a driveway in the wildfire zone of a raging blaze that is among several menacing thousands of homes in the Western U.S. Hot, gusty weather and the possibility of thunderstorms on Monday threatened to boost the danger that the fires will keep growing
7:08PM ( 5 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Arizona House speaker who rejected Trump pleas faces voters
Arizona's Republican House speaker is facing the anger of supporters of former President Donald Trump after he rejected pleas to help overturn the 2020 election results and testified before Congress about the efforts
12:05AM ( 51 minutes ago )
Biden names FEMA, CDC officials to head monkeypox response
President Joe Biden is set to name top officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to serve as the White House coordinators to combat the growing monkeypox outbreak
9:44PM ( 3 hours ago )
White House decries China rhetoric over Pelosi Taiwan visit
The White House is criticizing Beijing’s rhetoric over an expected visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan and vowing the United States “will not take the bait or engage in saber rattling."
9:14PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
UN chief warns world is one step from `nuclear annihilation'
The United Nations chief is warning that “humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.”
8:02PM ( 4 hours ago )
Al-Zawahri's path went from Cairo slum to top of al-Qaida
The doors of jihad opened for Ayman al-Zawahri as a young doctor in a Cairo slum
7:42PM ( 5 hours ago )
Police disperse anti-UN protesters in Congo amid tensions
Police have dispersed about 100 demonstrators in Congo’s eastern town of Beni
6:39PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP World News
Norman says Tiger Woods turned down $700-800M Saudi offer
Tiger Woods turned down a Saudi offer Greg Norman says was in the neighborhood of $700 million to $800 million
12:03AM ( 55 minutes ago )
Asian shares fall on worries about Pelosi's visit to Taiwan
Asian shares are mostly lower amid concerns about regional stability as an expected visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan prompted threats from Beijing
11:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
Brewers trade All-Star closer Josh Hader to Padres
The San Diego Padres have acquired All-Star closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for recently benched closer Taylor Rogers and three other players
8:15PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
Arizona's Arpaio tries to become suburban mayor after losses
Former Phoenix metro Sheriff Joe Arpaio is making his third political comeback attempt
12:44AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Arizona GOP primary tests power of Trump's election lies
The Republican Party’s embrace of Donald Trump’s election lies will be tested in Arizona
12:21AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Braves get OF Robbie Grossman from Tigers for minor leaguer
The defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves have acquired veteran corner outfielder Robbie Grossman in a trade with the Detroit Tigers for minor league pitcher Kris Anglin
12:21AM ( 37 minutes ago )
House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump face primaries
Three Republican U.S. House members who voted to impeach Donald Trump over the Jan. 6 insurrection are being challenged in Tuesday’s primary elections by rivals endorsed by the former president
12:18AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Latest primaries feature deniers for state election posts
Republican primary voters in Arizona and Kansas on Tuesday are deciding whether to elevate loyalists to former President Donald Trump who support his false claims that he lost the 2020 election and send them to the general election
12:15AM ( 42 minutes ago )