Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday despite China’s threats of a military response.
She is the most senior US politician to visit the island in about 25 years.
The foreign ministry of China had threatened ‘serious consequences’ if Pelosi visited Taiwan, Al Jazeera reported on Monday.
“There will be serious consequences if she insists on making the visit,” Zhao Lijian, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, had said.
“We are fully prepared for any eventuality. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will never sit by idly. China will take strong and resolute measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“Those who play with fire will perish by it,” Beijing had also warned in a statement ahead of Pelosi’s trip.
Pelosi has said that her visit “honours America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy” and does not contradict any US policy.
In a statement, Pelosi said, “America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.
“In the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) accelerating aggression, our congressional delegation’s visit should be seen as an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom,” she said.
The White House has been open in its opposition to the trip. Joe Biden, president of the United States, had said the military assessed it as “not a good idea right now”.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry had also said that it had no comment on reports of Pelosi’s travel plans.
“We have many differences when it comes to Taiwan, but over the past 40 plus years, we have managed those differences and done it in a way that is preserved peace and stability and has allowed the people of Taiwan to flourish,” Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, said.
“It would be important, as part of our shared responsibility, to continue to manage this in a wise way that doesn’t create the prospect for conflict.”
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