Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. House of Representatives Speaker, arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday and was greeted by Taiwan’s foreign minister and Sandra Oudkirk, the top U.S. representative in Taiwan. China condemned the visit as threatening peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Pelosi, second in the line of succession to the U.S. presidency, will meet with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday and have lunch together, the presidential office said. China’s foreign ministry said Pelosi’s visit seriously damaged peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Pelosi is on an Asia tour with visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan. She praised Taiwan’s commitment to democracy and criticized China for increasing tensions with Taiwan.
Taiwan’s tallest building, Taipei 101, lit up with messages welcoming U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.
The White House said after Pelosi’s arrival that the United States would not be intimidated by China’s threats and that the United States would continue to support Taiwan and maintain communication with Beijing.
The United States has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan but is bound by American law to provide it with the means to defend itself.
Several Chinese warplanes and warships operated close to the median line dividing the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday. Taiwan’s defense ministry said 21 Chinese aircraft entered its air defense identification zone on Tuesday.
Taylor Fravel, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology expert on China‘s military, said China‘s planned exercises appear as though they may be greater in scope than during a Taiwan Strait crisis in 1995 and 1996.
“Taiwan will face military exercises and missile tests from its north, south, east, and west. This is unprecedented,” Fravel said.
Four U.S. warships, including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, were positioned in waters east of Taiwan on what the U.S. Navy called routine deployments.
Russia, locked in a confrontation with the West over its Ukraine invasion, condemned Pelosi’s visit. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the United States “a state provocateur.”
- Pelosi arrives in Taiwan vowing U.S. commitment; China enraged Reuters
- China furious after Pelosi lands in Taiwan, promises ‘all necessary measures’ to defend itself Fox News
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi makes controversial trip to Taiwan CBS News
- Opinion | Nancy Pelosi: Why I’m leading a congressional delegation to Taiwan The Washington Post
- Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit Exposes US, Chinese Weaknesses Bloomberg