The White House sought to scale back increasing tensions with China over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, maintaining the trip doesn't reflect a shift in US position toward the island and encouraging Beijing not to respond aggressively.
The Liberty Times stated without citing its source that Pelosi is anticipated to arrive on a private plane at Songshan Airport at 10:20 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
She would be the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years thanks to the historic trip. China has threatened "severe consequences" for Pelosi's visit and claims Taiwan to be part of its territory.
Simply put, Beijing has no justification for escalating a hypothetical visit that would be in line with long-standing US policy into a crisis or confrontation, or for using it as an excuse to step up its aggressive military activity.
Tuesday's trip to Taiwan is anticipated by Pelosi, according to those familiar with her plans. Pelosi has scheduled a meeting with Tsai Ing-Wen, the president of Taiwan, for Wednesday.
She and President Joe Biden are already experiencing exceptional stress as a result of the House speaker's visit, which also runs the potential of igniting a crisis in the Taiwan Strait.
Although they are strong political allies, Pelosi pushed back on Biden's public admission that she was planning a visit last month and claimed that the military didn't support it.
Pelosi's office made a suggestion to the White House that she might change her mind if Vice President Biden publicly begged her not to travel after administration officials made it plain they'd prefer she cancel or postpone her visit to Taiwan.
Kirby said Biden didn't discuss the trip with Pelosi. Kirby said Biden told Chinese President Xi Jinping last week that Pelosi makes her own travel decisions.
According to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Xi cautioned Biden that "anyone plays with fire would get burned" during a discussion about Taiwan.