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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday for the second leg of her Asian tour which is overshadowed by a planned stopover in Taiwan.
Pelosi and his delegation landed at an air base in Kuala Lumpur. She met with Lower House Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun in Parliament and had lunch with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Pelosi released a statement on his visit on Tuesday, writing, “Today our Congressional delegation was honored to be received by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri and Foreign Minister Saifuddin. -Peaceful.”
Pelosi said his discussions with Malaysian leaders “include security challenges, economic opportunities and governance priorities.”
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“At each of our meetings, we expressed our appreciation for Malaysia’s vote at the United Nations on Russia’s aggression and their leadership within ASEAN on the repudiation of Burma for its murderous crackdown on dissent,” Pelosi said. “Our governance conversations have focused on integrity in government, addressing the climate crisis and addressing COVID. We agreed to continue to collaborate on our shared security interests, economic priorities, trade, human trafficking and climate issues.”
Although there was no official announcement, local media in Taiwan reported that Pelosi will arrive in Taipei on Tuesday evening. She would become the highest elected American to visit in more than 25 years.
News of Pelosi’s trip did not sit well with China, which views Taiwan as its territory and any trip by a senior US official as confirmation of US support for the island’s independence.
China has said its military will “never sit idly by” if Pelosi continues his visit. Threats of retaliation from China have raised fears of a new crisis in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the two sides, that could upend global markets and supply chains.
The White House has said it won’t lock itself into China’s “saber noises”.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby downplayed the threats.
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“We shouldn’t be, as a country, we shouldn’t be intimidated by this rhetoric or these potential actions. This is an important journey for the speaker and we’re going to do everything we can to support her,” Kirby told reporters.
Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang celebrated Pelosi’s potential arrival without confirming the Speaker’s trip.
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“We always warmly welcome visits to our country from distinguished foreign guests,” he said.
Michael Lee of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.