(CNN) –– Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, landed in Taiwan on Tuesday night (local time), amid threats from China and concerns from the Biden administration. Despite China’s retaliatory warnings against the trip, his visit represented a significant show of diplomatic support for the island.
It is the first time in 25 years that a speaker of the US House of Representatives has visited Taiwan.
A Taiwanese official told CNN that Pelosi is expected to spend the night in Taipei.
“An Unwavering Commitment”
Pelosi and her accompanying congressional delegation said in a statement Tuesday that the visit “honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.”
“Our talks with Taiwan’s leaders will focus on reaffirming our support for our partner and advancing our shared interests, including advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” Pelosi’s statement said. “America’s solidarity with Taiwan’s 23 million people is more important today than ever before as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”
Minutes after Pelosi arrived on the island, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning it.
The State Department noted that Pelosi landed on the island “without taking into account China’s strong opposition and serious representations.” It is “a serious violation of the one-China policy and the provisions of the three Sino-US joint agreements. It has a profound impact on the political foundation of Sino-US relations and seriously violates the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. China”.
Moreover, he warned, it “severely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and sends a very wrong signal to separatist forces of ‘Taiwan independence'”.
China warns of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan
Although Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan did not appear on her Asia tour, the visit was widely discussed in the weeks leading up to her trip. The potential trip drew warnings from China and the Biden administration, which briefed the Speaker of the House on the risks of visiting the democratic and autonomous island. China claims it as part of its territory.
Indeed, just hours before Pelosi landed in Taipei, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi echoed President Xi Jinping’s warnings that the U.S. should not “play with fire” in Taiwan. In that regard, the foreign minister reiterated Beijing’s position that any interference in its one-China policy is an “undeniable red line”.
“The one China policy is the global consensus of the international community, the political basis for China’s exchanges with other countries, the core of China’s interests, and the unquestionable red line and final decision,” Wang said in his statement at the ministry. Website.
On Monday, a senior Taiwanese government official and a US official confirmed that Pelosi would visit Taiwan, despite warnings from the Biden administration that it was concerned about China’s response to Taiwan’s visit.
Following the news, China warned of the “terrible political impact” of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and said its military would “not sit idly by” if Beijing believed its “sovereignty and territorial integrity” were being threatened.
The US official added on Monday that defense officials are working around the clock to monitor any Chinese movement in the region and ensure a plan to keep it safe.
The question of Taiwan – an autonomous island that China claims as part of its territory – remains a highly contentious one. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had a lengthy two-hour, 17-minute phone call Thursday amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing.
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