US House Speaker Pelosi Lands In Taiwan, Defying China Warnings: 10 Points

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Nancy Pelosi was seen emerging from the flight.

Taipei:
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan amid escalating threats from China over the visit. China warned the US that it was “playing with fire”. The Chinese military has vowed to launch “targeted military actions”.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. “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,” Nancy Pelosi tweeted after landing.  

  2. “Our visit is one of several Congressional delegations to Taiwan — and it in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, U.S.-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances,” read her second tweet.

  3. “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army is on high alert and will launch a series of targeted military operations to counter this, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely thwart external interference and ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist attempts,” defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said in a statement condemning the visit.

  4. Beijing regards Taiwan as part of its territory and sees the visit by the highest-ranking US official in over 25 years as support for Taiwan’s independence movement. Washington officially has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan but is bound by US law to help the island defend itself.

  5. Minutes after Ms Pelosi’s flight landed, China lodged a strong protest with the US. “The United States… has been attempting to use Taiwan to contain China. It constantly distorts, obscures and hollows out the one-China principle, steps up its official exchanges with Taiwan, and emboldens ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist activities. These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it,” its statement read.  

  6. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said yesterday that Beijing’s responses could include firing missiles near Taiwan, large-scale air or naval activities, or further “spurious legal claims” such as assertion that the Taiwan Strait is not an international waterway. “We will not take the bait…(or) be intimidated,” Mr Kirby said.

  7. Earlier this evening, the local media reported that Chinese fighter jets had crossed Taiwan strait, which was closed to traffic by China as Ms Pelosi’s flight headed for Taipei.

  8. Ms Pelosi’s US C-40C aircraft circled around and approached Taiwan from the Philippine Sea.  Four US warships, including an aircraft carrier, have been positioned in waters east of Taiwan on what the US Navy has called routine deployments.  

  9. Taiwan’s foreign ministry had maintained its silence about the visit. Live television images, however, showed Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu receiving Ms Pelosi at the airport, where hundreds flocked to see her. The tallest building in Taipei was lit up as a mark of welcome.   

  10. The furor around Ms Pelosi’s visit risks straining relations throughout the region as governments confront the reality of ratcheting tensions between the world’s two largest economies.  Both the US and China have sent diplomats to engage with Southeast Asian leaders.

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