Pelosi arrives in Taiwan vowing U.S. commitment; China enraged

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U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday on a trip she said shows an unwavering American commitment to the Chinese-claimed self-ruled island, but China condemned the highest-level U.S. visit in 25 years as a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Pelosi and the rest of her delegation disembarked from a U.S. Air Force transport plane at Songshan Airport in downtown Taipei after the nighttime landing on a flight from Malaysia to begin a visit that risks pushing U.S.-Chinese relations to a new low. They were greeted by Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, and Sandra Oudkirk, the top U.S. representative in Taiwan.

Her arrival prompted a furious response from China at a time when international tensions already are elevated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has never renounced using force to bring it under its control. The United States warned China against using the visit as a pretext for military action against Taiwan.

“Our congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy,” Pelosi said in a statement shortly after landing. “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.” Pelosi said in the statement, issued as China condemned her visit and said it would badly damage Sino-U.S. relations.

In a Washington Post opinion piece released shortly after she landed, Pelosi outlined her reasons for visiting, praising Taiwan’s commitment to democratic government while criticizing China as having dramatically increased tensions with Taiwan in recent years.

“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,” Pelosi wrote. -Reuters