US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her itinerary for a trip to Asia on Sunday but made no mention of a controversial reported plan to visit Taiwan.
In a statement, Ms Pelosi said she will be leading a congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan this week to discuss trade, the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, security and “democratic governance”.
Last week, the Financial Times reported that Ms Pelosi planned to visit Taiwan in the next month. She was originally scheduled to visit in April but had to postpone after testing positive for Covid.
President Joe Biden has said that her to Taiwan visit might not be a “good idea.”
“Well, I think that the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” he said in response to a question about Ms Pelosi’s reported plans for a trip.
“But I don’t know what the status of it is.”
Ms Pelosi is yet to confirm whether her visit will include a stop at Taiwan.
If she does visit the island nation, Ms Pelosi will be the highest-ranking American lawmaker to visit Taiwan since Newt Gingrich, a Republican, travelled there 25 years ago when he was House speaker.
“Under the strong leadership of President Biden, America is firmly committed to smart, strategic engagement in the region, understanding that a free and flourishing Indo-Pacific is crucial to prosperity in our nation and around the globe,” the statement said.
On Thursday, Biden spoke with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping over the phone and agreed to an in-person meeting.
The decision to meet comes amid heightened Sino-US tensions over Taiwan.
While Taiwan has been self-ruled since shortly after the end of the Second World War, China considers the island a part of its own territory under the “One China” policy. The US has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan and only supplies arms under the Taiwan Relations Act.
However, Mr Biden has said on several occasions that the US will come to Taiwan’s defence in the event of an attack on Taiwan.
China has also threatened unspecified “resolute and strong measures” if Ms Pelosi’s visit does take place.
On Sunday, Chinese air force spokesman Shen Jinke was quoted by state media that Beijing would “resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
A readout of the two leaders’ call released by the Chinese foreign ministry said Mr Xi warned Mr Biden not to “play with fire” on Taiwan during their conversation on Thursday.