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British Parliamentary Delegation May Visit Taiwan

Members of the British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee are expected to visit Taiwan later this year, despite rising tensions in the region.

Guardian On August 1, citing sources familiar with the matter, MPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons plan to visit Taiwan in November or early December to “show British support” for the island.

The source added that British MPs had planned to visit the island earlier this year, but it was postponed because a member of the delegation contracted Covid-19.

Beijing has not commented on this report.

The visit was planned in the context of worsening UK-China relations. British prime ministerial candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak last week both made clear their tough stances towards Beijing. China’s ambassador to the UK meanwhile accused some Chinese politicians of “falling off the hook about the so-called threat from China”.

British flags in larne, northern ireland, in december 2020. Photo: reuters.

British flags in Larne, Northern Ireland, in December 2020. Image: Reuters.

Tensions in the Taiwan Strait have increased in recent weeks, after it emerged that US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi could visit the island this week.

Ms. Pelosi is touring Asia, with the first stop being Singapore. The US House of Representatives Speaker’s office on July 31 announced that the delegation was expected to visit Japan, South Korea and Malaysia, but did not mention Taiwan. CNN On August 1, citing US and Taiwanese government officials, Ms. Pelosi plans to visit Taiwan and stay overnight on the island.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the Chinese military would “not sit idly by” if Ms. Pelosi came to Taiwan and warned the US would suffer serious political repercussions.

The White House later said that Beijing should not “overreact” if Speaker Pelosi visited Taiwan, in order to avoid causing a crisis in the region. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Washington was not concerned about a possible attack on Pelosi’s plane, but warned Beijing’s moves could increase the risk of miscalculation.

Ngoc Anh (Follow Guardian)

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