US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy speaks during a news conference in the Statuary Hall at the Capitol in Washington on Thursday last week. Photo: AP

/ Staff writer, with Reuters

The Pentagon is preparing for US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy to visit Taiwan later this year, Punchbowl News reported on Monday, citing an official directly involved in the talks.

US administration officials anticipate McCarthy would visit Taiwan some time in the spring, the report said.

McCarthy had previously pledged to visit Taiwan if he became House speaker. He was elected speaker earlier this month.

He had also said that he would have liked to join then-US House speaker Nancy Pelosi's delegation when she visited Taiwan in August last year.

Pelosi's 19-hour visit to Taipei marked the first time in 25 years that a sitting US House speaker visited Taiwan.

Beijing ramped up incursions and launched large-scale military drills around Taiwan proper following Pelosi's visit.

When asked in an interview last week with The Associated Press if McCarthy should make good on his pledge to visit Taiwan, Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (Xiao Meiqin) said “that will be his decision.”

“But I think ultimately the people of Taiwan have welcomed visitors from around the world,” she said, adding that Beijing “has no right to decide or define how we engage with the world.”

News source: TAIPEI TIMES