No evidence of looming Chinese military action against Taiwan, US official says

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The United States has seen no evidence of looming Chinese military activity against Taiwan, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on Friday (July 29) when asked about a possible visit to the island by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“(We’ve) seen no physical, tangible indications of anything untoward with respect to Taiwan,” Kirby told reporters.

Pelosi has not confirmed a potential trip to Taiwan.

Tensions around Taiwan were a dominant topic on Thursday in a phone call between President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi warned against playing with fire over Taiwan.

China has been stepping up military activity around Taiwan seeking to pressure the democratically elected government there to accept Chinese sovereignty.

Taiwan’s government says only the island’s 23 million people can decide their future, and while it wants peace, it will defend itself if attacked.

Pelosi, who as House speaker is No. 3 in the line of US power hierarchy after Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, signalled on Friday she was going on a trip to Asia.

She did not say she was going to Taiwan.

“I’m very excited, should we go, to the countries that you’ll be hearing about along the way,” she said, after citing the importance of the US-Asia-Pacific relationship.