Pelosi touches down in Malaysia amid tensions over trip to Taiwan

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Malaysia Tuesday for the second leg of her Asian tour that is being overshadowed by an expected stop in Taiwan.

Pelosi and her delegation touched down at an air force base in Kuala Lumpur. She met with lower house Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun in Parliament and participated in a luncheon with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

While there have been no official announcements, local media in Taiwan reported that Pelosi will arrive in Taipei on Tuesday night. She would become the highest-ranking elected US official to visit in more than 25 years.

Word of Pelosi’s trip did not sit well with China, which views Taiwan as part of its territory and any trip by a high-ranking American official as confirmation of US support for the Island’s independence.

CHINESE MILITARY POSTS VIDEO BOASTING MILITARY AHEAH OF PELOSI TRIP TO TAIWAN

This handout photo taken and released by Malaysia’s Department of Information, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, center, waves to media as she tours the parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.
(Malaysia’s Department of Information via AP)

China said its military will “never sit idly by” if Pelosi pushes ahead with the visit. China’s threats of retaliation have driven concerns of a new crisis in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two sides, that could roil global markets and supply chains.

The White House said it will not encage with China’s “saber rattling.”

White House national security spokesman John Kirby downplayed the significance of the threats.

This handout photo taken and released by Malaysia's Department of Information, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, meets with Malaysia Parliament speaker Azhar Azizan Harun at the parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday, Aug.  2, 2022.

This handout photo taken and released by Malaysia’s Department of Information, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, meets with Malaysia Parliament speaker Azhar Azizan Harun at the parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.
(Malaysia’s Department of Information via AP)

FOR CHINA’S MILITARY PLANNERS, TAIWAN IS NOT AN EASY ISLAND TO INVADE

“We shouldn’t be, as a country, we shouldn’t be intimidated by that rhetoric or those potential actions. This is an important trip for the speaker to be on and we’re going to do whatever we can to support her, “Kirby told reporters.

Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang celebrated the potential arrival of Pelosi without confirming the House Speaker’s trip.

This handout photo taken and released by Malaysia's Department of Information, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, meets with Malaysia Parliament speaker Azhar Azizan Harun at the parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday, Aug.  2, 2022.

This handout photo taken and released by Malaysia’s Department of Information, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, meets with Malaysia Parliament speaker Azhar Azizan Harun at the parliament house in Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022.
(Malaysia’s Department of Information via AP)

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“We always warmly welcome visits to our country by distinguished foreign guests,” he said.

Fox News’ Michael Lee and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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