US won’t be intimidated by China; Pelosi has proper to go to Taiwan

(Updates with extra Kirby quotes)

By Jeff Mason and Michael Martina

WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – The White Home mentioned on Monday it’s anticipated China in coming days to escalate its response to a possible go to by US Home of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan and mentioned america wouldn’t be intimidated.

China’s actions may embody firing missiles close to Taiwan, large-scale air or naval actions, or additional “spurious authorized claims” equivalent to Beijing’s assertion that the Taiwan Strait just isn’t a global waterway, White Home nationwide safety spokesman John Kirby advised reporters.

“We won’t take the bait or interact in saber rattling. On the similar time, we won’t be intimidated,” he mentioned.

Pelosi has the appropriate to go to Taiwan, the White Home mentioned, including that China appeared ready to reply, presumably with army provocations.

Pelosi was set to go to Taiwan on Tuesday, three folks briefed on the matter mentioned, as China warned that its army would by no means “sit idly by” if she visited the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.

Kirby mentioned that nothing about Pelosi’s doable journey modified US coverage towards Taiwan, and that Beijing was properly conscious of the division in powers inside the US authorities meant Pelosi would make her personal choices concerning the go to.

“The speaker has the appropriate to go to Taiwan, and a speaker of the Home has visited Taiwan earlier than, with out incident, as have many members of Congress, together with this yr,” Kirby mentioned.

“There is no such thing as a cause for Beijing to show a possible go to per long-standing US coverage into some type of disaster or battle, or use it as a pretext to extend aggressive army exercise in or across the Taiwan Strait,” he mentioned.

Kirby mentioned China gave the impression to be positioning itself to doubtlessly take additional steps within the coming days in response to the doable go to, which Pelosi had but to substantiate.

The White Home expects additional “irresponsible rhetoric” from China over the difficulty, he mentioned, although america would search to take care of strains of communication with Beijing.

Regardless of considerations that heightened tensions may result in miscalculation or mishap throughout such a go to, Kirby mentioned the US authorities had a duty to make sure that Pelosi was in a position to journey “safely and securely”.

“I can guarantee you that she is going to,” he mentioned. (Reporting by Jeff Mason and Michael Martina; further reporting by Nandita Bose, Jarrett Renshaw, and Doina Chiacu; Modifying by Chris Reese and Howard Goller)