US Speaker Pelosi Meets PM Lee & President Halimah in S'pore

She will be visiting Malaysia, South Korea and Japan next.

Tan Min-Wei | August 01, 2022, 07:06 PM

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Head of the United States' legislative branch, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi arrived in Singapore late on July 31, starting the first leg of her visit to Asia.

A courtesy call at the Istana

On Aug. 1, Pelosi led a courtesy call at the Istana with a U.S. congressional delegation of five other congressmen from her Democratic party, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

They met with President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as well as Minster for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan.

They also met with Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean, and Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Halimah and Pelosi affirmed the "excellent and longstanding partnership between Singapore and the U.S.", as well as the close educational and people-to-people ties between the two nations.

They also talked about expanding bilateral cooperation in areas such as climate change, and discussed ways to improve social cohesion between Singapore and the U.S.

PM Lee and the delegation spoke about the two countries' "deep and multi-faceted" partnership, as well as deep cooperation in defence, security, and economic matters. They also discussed ways that the U.S.' engagement in Southeast Asia could be deepened, giving the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) as an example.

They also shared their views on key regional and international developments, including the war in Ukraine, climate change, as well as cross-strait relations, with PM Lee highlighting "the importance of stable U.S.-China relations for regional peace and security".

Pelosi and the congressional delegation are visiting Singapore from Aug. 1 to Aug. 2 -- the first leg of an Asia trip that will officially include Malaysia, as well as close U.S. allies Japan and South Korea.

Orientating towards trouble

Pelosi's trip was confirmed over the weekend, but courted controversy when it was speculated she was planning to add a visit to Taiwan to her itinerary, a move that was heavily criticised by the Chinese government.

China considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province, and has repeatedly said that it intends to reintegrate the island, whether by force or other means.

Pelosi was originally scheduled to undertake this trip in April, but delayed it when she was diagnosed with Covid-19 just days before it was due to start. Both then as now, there were rumours that she had intended to visit Taiwan, but the trips were never officially added to her schedule.

China has warned the U.S. against a visit, but has not specified what measures it would take.

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Top image via Ministry of Communications and Information