Pelosi lands in Taiwan despite China's warnings

Pelosi lands in Taiwan despite China’s warnings

The plane carrying the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, landed at 10:43 p.m. local time (2:43 p.m. GMT) at Taipei’s Songshan airport, beginning a visit against which Beijing had announced retaliation.

READ ALSO: Chinese military planes cross the Taiwan Strait

Upon her arrival, after a seven-hour trip that began in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and in which she dodged the South China Sea and flew over Indonesia and the Philippines, Pelosi was received by the island’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu Chao -hsieh and by the director of the American Institute of Taiwan, Sandra Oudkirk.

Pelosi stated on her Twitter account minutes after landing that her visit “honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.”

The official added that her trip “does not contradict the policies maintained for a long time by the United States” and that her country “opposes unilateral efforts to alter the status quo.”

Neither Pelosi nor the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had confirmed whether the official’s tour of Asia would include a visit to Taiwan, a possibility advanced by US and Taiwanese media.

This is the first visit by a US House Speaker to Taiwan since 1997when Republican Newt Gingrich visited the island.

On Tuesday night, shortly before Pelosi’s plane landed, Taipei’s tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101, was lit up with messages addressed to the US official such as “Welcome to Taiwan”, “Thanks to our democratic friend” , “The friendship between the United States and Taiwan will always be firm” and “Let’s protect the international order together”.

For their part, legislators from the island welcomed the president of the US House of Representatives: “Visit will increase Taiwan’s faith in US commitment to its securityLo Chih-cheng, of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), declared and was quoted in local media.

His party colleague Wang Ting-yu said that Pelosi’s presence on the island “will prove that the alliance between the United States and Taiwan can withstand pressure from China” and predicted that a possible military intimidation by Beijing will demonstrate its nature. “quarrelsome” in front of the international community.

Shortly before Pelosi’s arrival in Taiwan, Chinese state media reported the crossing of the Taiwan Strait by Chinese SU-35 military aircraft, without further details being provided for the time being.

This Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry assured that it is “difficult to imagine a more reckless and provocative action” by the United States than this visit, about which the Chinese Army recently warned that it would not “stand idly by”.

China claims sovereignty over the island and considers Taiwan a rebel province since the nationalists of the Kuomintang withdrew there in 1949, after losing the civil war against the communists.

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Source: Critica

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