The plane with the speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, August 2, landed at the Taipei airport in Taiwan. Meanwhile, the media reported that Chinese and American fighter jets headed towards the island.
The Chinese television channel CGTN reported that the Chinese fighters at the time of the plane’s approach from Pelosi crossed taiwan strait towards the island. According to Japanese media, American fighters simultaneously took off from bases in Japan.
“Our delegation’s visit to Taiwan demonstrates America’s unwavering commitment to supporting a vibrant Taiwanese democracy. Our discussions with the leadership of Taiwan reaffirm our partner’s support and advance our common interests, including advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Pelosi wrote after landing.
“Our visit is one of several congressional delegations to Taiwan and in no way conflicts with the longstanding policy of the United States,” she said.
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was not on the official agenda
According to the Sanli TV channel, the American Delegation led by Pelosi to spend the night at the Grand Hyatt in Taipei, where security measures have already been tightened. Reuters reported, citing sources, that Pelosi plans to meet with a group of Taiwanese public figures at the National Museum of Human Rights in New Taipei, as well as Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
Pelosi’s Asian tour began on July 31st. Visits to Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea were officially announced in the program of the trip. Taiwan was not on this list, but the US media reported on Pelosi’s plans to visit the island. Chinese President Xi Jinping, during a telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden, warned the United States against “playing with fire” regarding Washington’s position on Taiwan.
Pelosi’s visit sparks controversy in China
This is the first time in 25 years that a speaker of the US House of Representatives has visited Taiwan.China has threatened the US “strong measures to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the PRC if the speaker of the US House of Representatives visits Taiwan, which Beijing considers its breakaway province. The United States does not officially recognize Taiwan’s independence, but advocates sharply against Chinese threats to annex the island by force.
At the same time, the White House opposed such a trip, since it could aggravate relations with China, US media reported, citing sources. “The military doesn’t think it’s a good idea right now,” Biden told reporters about Pelosi’s trip. Her visit does not signify a change in Washington’s policy on the status of Taiwan, said John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken pointed out that the Congress is independent of the White House, an equal branch of government, so the decision to travel is “completely up to the speaker.”