US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s historic trip to Taiwan has been dubbed “very dangerous” by China.
It charged that Mrs Pelosi, the highest-ranking US politician to visit the island China claims as its own in 25 years, was “playing with fire.”
Beijing issued a warning, saying that those who play with fire will perish as a result.
According to Mrs Pelosi, her trip did not go against US policy and “honours America’s unshakable commitment to supporting Taiwan’s robust democracy.”
Chinese state media stated that its military jets were crossing the Taiwan Strait when her plane landed. At the time, Taiwan rejected those accusations but later claimed that on Tuesday, more than 20 Chinese military aircraft had flown into its air defence zone.
China has already issued a warning that its armed forces “would not stand quietly by” since it views Taiwan as a separatist province that will one day reunite with it.
The People’s Liberation Army will conduct a number of live-fire military manoeuvres in the air and on the water around Taiwan later this week, advising ships and planes not to enter the targeted areas, the plane started within an hour of its arrival.
It comes after days of rising hostilities before the visit, during which Chinese jets had previously flown as far as the median line, which serves as an unofficial boundary between China and Taiwan in the waters between them.
As the globe struggles to decide between authoritarianism and democracy, Mrs Pelosi stated in her statement that “America’s support with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more crucial today than ever.”
Additionally, at the same time, Mrs Pelosi stated that Taiwan’s “strong democracy… is under assault” in a piece that appeared in the Washington Post newspaper.
“Our congressional delegation’s visit should be taken as an unequivocal signal that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it protects itself and its freedom,” she said. “In the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) escalating aggression,” she added.
While Mrs Pelosi’s visit had been the focus of intense international speculation for days, it had remained a closely guarded secret until the very last moment.
She left for an Asian trip on Sunday, but Taiwan was not listed on her official itinerary, which also included stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan.
Any such trip has been openly opposed by the White House, and President Joe Biden stated that the military considered it to be “not a good idea.”
However, White House spokesman John Kirby told CNN that Mrs Pelosi’s travel was identical to those made by senior leaders in the past.
“There is no justification for this to turn violent. We have not altered our policy. This is entirely in line with it.”
He responded to China’s robust response by declaring, “The United States will not be intimidated by threats.”
China uses its worldwide influence to compel other countries to abide by the “One China” policy, which states that there is only one Chinese nation, centred in Beijing. There are only 15 countries in the world with recognised diplomatic ties to Taiwan.
The US has long recognised the Beijing administration while also keeping “strong unofficial” ties with Taiwan. That includes providing Taiwan with guns for self-defence.
Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi is the vice-next president in line to become president of the US. She has, however, consistently criticised Beijing.
When she visited Tiananmen Square as a congresswoman in 1991, two years after the Chinese government brutally suppressed protests there, she unfurled a banner in honour of those who had perished, which infuriated the Chinese government.
According to Taiwanese media, Mrs Pelosi will spend the night there and meet with Legislative Yuan members and President Tsai Ing-Wen on Wednesday.