Nancy Pelosi Taiwan Visit: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi vowed Wednesday to punish those who offend Beijing, state media reported, as the country seethes over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. “This is a complete farce. The United States is violating China’s sovereignty under the guise of so-called ‘democracy’… those who offend China will be punished,”
Several US warships were cruising in waters near Taiwan on Tuesday, US military officials said, amid Chinese anger over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to the island Beijing claims as its territory. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan late Tuesday, defying a string of increasingly stark warnings and threats from China that have sent tensions between the world’s two superpowers soaring. Pelosi, second in line to the presidency, is the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years and Beijing has made clear that it regards her presence as a major provocation, setting the region on edge.
Live broadcasts showed the 82-year-old lawmaker, who flew on a US military aircraft, being greeted at Taipei’s Songshan Airport by foreign minister Joseph Wu. “Our delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy,” she said in a statement upon her arrival, adding that her visit “in no way contradicts” US policy towards Taipei and Beijing.
Taiwan said the trip displayed “rock solid” support from Washington. Reaction from Beijing was swift with US Ambassador Nicholas Burns summoned by the Foreign Ministry late Tuesday and warned that Washington “shall pay the price” for Pelosi’s visit.
Pelosi is currently on a tour of Asia and while neither she nor her office confirmed the Taipei visit in advance, multiple US and Taiwanese media outlets reported it was on the cards — triggering days of mounting anger from Beijing.
China’s military said it was on “high alert” and would “launch a series of targeted military actions in response” to the visit. It promptly announced plans for a series of military exercises in waters around the island to begin on Wednesday, including “long-range live ammunition shooting” in the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said more than 21 Chinese military aircraft had flown on Tuesday into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone — an area wider than its territorial airspace that overlaps with part of China’s own air defence zone.
What you need to know about Pelosi, China, and Taiwan
Beijing warned the United States that it was “playing with fire” by allowing the speaker’s visit to take place, and even Joe Biden had cautioned against it.
So why is Ms Pelosi’s trip so controversial?
Here’s what you need to know.
Taiwan is at the center of a geopolitical struggle between Beijing and Washington