Nancy Pelosi met with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who urged the US official to strive for "stable" ties with China amid an escalation in tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has held talks with officials in Singapore at the start of her Asian tour, as questions swirled over a possible stop in Taiwan that has fuelled tension with Beijing.
Pelosi met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President Halimah Yacob and other Cabinet members, the Foreign Ministry said.
Lee welcomed a US commitment to strong engagement with the region, and the two sides discussed ways to deepen US economic engagement through initiatives such as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, the ministry said in a statement.
The pair also discussed the conflict in Ukraine, tensions surrounding Taiwan and mainland China, and climate change, it said.
Lee “highlighted the importance of stable US-China relations for regional peace and security," it added, in an apparent allusion to reports that Pelosi may visit Taiwan.
In a statement over the weekend, Pelosi said she will visit Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan to discuss trade, the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, security and “democratic governance.”
She didn't confirm news reports that she might visit Taiwan, which is claimed by Beijing as its own territory.
China warns against visiting Taiwan
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against meddling in Beijing’s dealings with the island in a phone call last week with US President Joe Biden.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian reiterated the earlier warnings on Monday, saying “there will be serious consequences if she insists on making the visit.”
He did not spell out any specific consequences. “We are fully prepared for any eventuality,” he said.
“The People’s Liberation Army will never sit by idly. China will take strong and resolute measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Pelosi is scheduled to be in Malaysia on Tuesday. No further details were immediately available.
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, Kim’s office said in a statement.
It declined to provide further details about her itinerary, including when she is arriving in South Korea and how long she’ll stay.