Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, plans to visit Taiwan next month, amid tension with China, the Financial Times said on Tuesday, citing six people familiar with the matter.
Pelosi and her delegation will also visit Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, and spend time in Hawaii at the headquarters of U.S. Indo-Pacific command, the paper added.
Her office and the U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, however. The Taiwan embassy in the United States could not immediately be reached.
The Democratic leader’s visit to Taiwan had been postponed from April, after she tested positive for COVID-19. At the time, China said such a visit would severely affect Chinese-U.S. relations.
Taiwan faces mounting pressure from China, which considers the democratically ruled island its own territory. The issue is a constant irritant in ties between Beijing and Washington.
Taiwan, however, has been heartened by continued support offered by the Biden administration, which has repeatedly talked of its “rock-solid” commitment to the island.
Pelosi, a long-time critic of China, held an online meeting with Taiwan Vice President William Lai in January as he wrapped up a visit to the United States and Honduras.
The White House had expressed concern about the trip, the Financial Times said, citing three people familiar with the situation.
There were divisions in the U.S. administration over whether Pelosi should visit Taiwan, the paper quoted two sources as saying.
Some officials believed it had been easier to justify a visit in April, as that was just after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it added.
China sent fighters across the Taiwan Strait this month in what the latter described as a provocation. The incident came during a visit to Taipei by U.S. Senator Rick Scott, a senior Republican and member of the Senate’s Armed Services Committee.
News of Pelosi’s August visit comes after China asked the United States on Monday to immediately cancel a potential sale of military technical assistance to Taiwan worth an estimated $108 million.