House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is leading a congressional delegation to Asia that is set to depart on Friday, but it’s still not clear if she will make a stop in Taiwan.
Sources told NBC News that the delegation will stop in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. Taiwan is listed on the itinerary as “tentative.”
So far, Pelosi and her advisers have declined to confirm that she is planning to visit Taiwan. But on Wednesday, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) said that Pelosi invited him to join her in Taiwan, signaling that she still plans to go despite the risk of sparking a major crisis across the Taiwan Strait.
McCaul declined the invitation, and it’s not clear who will be part of Pelosi’s delegation. She also invited Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Mark Takano (D-CA), but they haven’t commented on the trip.
Beijing has issued strong warnings over Pelosi’s plans to visit Taiwan, but the potential trip has gained strong bipartisan support from lawmakers in Congress as both Republicans and Democrats are urging her to go. Biden administration officials have said China will view the trip as a purposeful provocation but maintain that it’s her decision whether or not to visit the island.
Chinese military analysts have warned that Pelosi visiting Taiwan could spark a conflict between the US and China. Pelosi will be the first house speaker to make the trip since Newt Gingrich did in 1997, but the analysts warn China’s response could be stronger since its military is much stronger today.