U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan on Sunday: reports

04/07/2022 12:21 PM
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Image taken from facebook.com/pelosiforcongress
Image taken from facebook.com/pelosiforcongress

Taipei, April 7 (CNA) United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan on Sunday, in a show of support for Taipei amid concerns over cross-strait relations following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to media reports Thursday.

Should Pelosi's rumored trip go ahead, she will be the first sitting U.S. House speaker to visit Taiwan since 1997 when Republican Newt Gingrich met with then-President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

Asked to comment, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) would not confirm the visit, saying only that Taiwan's government had always extended an invitation for friends in the U.S. to visit.

"We will make details of any such trip public when we are able to do so," Ou said.

According to Japanese media reports, Pelosi is scheduled to arrive in Japan later this week to hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as the two countries seek to enhance coordination of their response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Pelosi was originally set to visit South Korea afterward but decided to visit Taipei on Sunday instead, according to a Japanese-language Fuji News Network (FNN) report.

Sources told the network that her Taiwan trip was designed as a display of U.S. support amid fears that China might try to emulate Moscow and launch an invasion of its neighbor.

The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives sits second in the presidential line of succession under the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, meaning if both the presidency and vice-presidency were vacant simultaneously, then the speaker would become acting president, after resigning from the House and as speaker.

Pelosi has repeatedly shown her support for Taiwan as speaker, a post she has served in since 2019, and previously from 2007 to 2011.

Most recently, Pelosi spoke with Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) in late January during a virtual meeting, where she assured Lai that Taiwan had bipartisan support in Congress.

At the time, Lai had been in the U.S. en route to Honduras to attend Xiomara Castro's inauguration as Honduran president.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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