Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taiwan as Beijing threatens ‘serious consequences’

World

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has arrived in Taiwan – despite threats from Beijing about “serious consequences” for her visit.

She has become the highest-ranking American official to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China in 25 years.

Her visit has been closely watched by mainland China, and by scores of people who used the website Flightradar24 to track the aircraft she was on as it made its way to Taiwan.

Ms Pelosi and her delegation disembarked from a US Air Force transport plane at Songshan Airport in downtown Taipei late on Tuesday and were greeted by Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, and Sandra Oudkirk, the top US representative in Taiwan.

She is expected to meet Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, and parliament tomorrow and fly out of the island in the afternoon.

Beijing has warned the visit would undermine China-US relations, and the foreign ministry said it seriously violated China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In a statement issued just after her arrival in Taipei late on Tuesday, China’s foreign ministry said it had lodged a strong protest with the US.

More on Nancy Pelosi

State media announced military exercises later this week, and Chinese war planes flew over the Taiwan Strait before her arrival.

Ms Pelosi is on a tour of Asia that includes announced visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan. Her stop in Taiwan had not been announced, but had been widely anticipated.

People walk past a billboard welcoming U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug 2, 2022. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was believed headed for Taiwan on Tuesday on a visit that could significantly escalate tensions with Beijing, which claims the self-ruled island as its own territory. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
Image:
Pic: AP
Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Image:
Pic: Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

China claims self-governed Taiwan as its own, and a foreign ministry spokesman said earlier this week that any visit by Ms Pelosi would be “a gross interference in China’s internal affairs”.

“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by,” they warned.

Ms Pelosi’s visit caps a long history of the politician confronting Beijing.

Read more:
Badly timed Taiwan visit may have the US and China quietly walking into a crisis

Nancy Pelosi in 1991 in Tiananmen Square. Pic: AP
Image:
Nancy Pelosi in 1991 in Tiananmen Square. Pic: AP

More than 30 years ago, she was a junior senator when she sneaked away from an official delegation and angered China’s government by showing up in Tiananmen Square and unfurling a banner honouring the dissidents killed in the 1989 protests.

Articles You May Like

Labour to call for energy price cap freeze amid cost of living crisis
Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto firms had deep ties to Voyager Digital and its bankruptcy wipeout
All London children aged one to nine to be offered polio vaccine after more virus found in sewers
Lib Dems call for parliament to be recalled to pass bill scrapping rise in energy price cap
Tornado Cash crackdown by Treasury puts honest crypto investors at risk of criminal exposure