Pelosi Lands in Singapore, Meets Top Officials at Start of Asia Trip

Pelosi Lands in Singapore, Meets Top Officials at Start of Asia Trip
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) leaves the Shangri-La Hotel after a reception organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore on Aug. 1, 2022. (Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) landed in Singapore on Aug. 1 and met with top officials there as she began an Asia trip that could include a visit to Taiwan.

Pelosi met with President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, according to Singapore’s Foreign Ministry.

Halimah shared a picture bumping fists with Pelosi in the Istana, the office of the Singaporean president and said they “affirmed the excellent and longstanding partnership between Singapore and the U.S.” and discussed educational and other ties, as well as cooperation on issues such as the environment.

Lee went over “key international and regional developments, including the war in Ukraine, cross-strait relations, and climate change” with Pelosi, according to a readout, as well as “[highlighting] the importance of stable U.S.–China relations for regional peace and security.”

Pelosi was set to visit Taiwan earlier this year but canceled the trip after she tested positive for COVID-19. Colleagues have said that she planned to visit Taiwan during the current trip, but an itinerary released over the weekend didn’t include the country.

Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan were listed as stops.

Pelosi is traveling with Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), and Andy Kim (D-N.J.). The group was scheduled to depart Singapore on Aug. 2.

Pelosi’s office highlighted another meeting in the country, with Singaporean Deputy Finance Minister Lawrence Wong saying that the speaker and he “discussed how our nations can continue to work together to advance security, prosperity [and] opportunity for those on both sides of the Pacific.”

China’s Threat

Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said at about the same time that a Pelosi visit to Taiwan would be “a gross interference in China’s internal affairs, seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, wantonly trample on the one-China principle, seriously threaten peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and seriously damage China–U.S. relations, leading to very serious developments and consequences.”

China’s military wouldn’t “sit idly by” if the visit happens, he said.

The White House has discouraged Pelosi from visiting Taiwan, with President Joe Biden saying that such a visit was “not a good idea right now.”

During a call with Biden on July 28, China’s leader Xi Jinping threatened the U.S. president.

“Playing with fire will set you on fire,” Xi told Biden, according to Chinese state media. “I hope the U.S. can see this clearly.”

Taiwan has been self-ruled since 1949. It has never been controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, which currently controls China.