US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived on Tuesday in Taiwan, despite the Chinese warnings. In the meantime, the Chinese Defence Ministry announced that it would start special military operations close to Taiwan in response to this visit.
Pelosi, who travelled on board a US military plane, was accompanied by a Congress delegation, and was received by Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu at Taipei’s Songshan Airport.
Once arrived in Taiwan’s capital, Pelosi issued a statement saying that the visit underscores Washington’s unwavering commitment to supporting democracy in Taiwan.
“Discussions with the Taiwan leadership focused on reaffirming our support for our partner, and on promoting our common interests,” the US House of Representatives speaker said, adding that it is “disturbing that a strong and vibrant democratic Taiwan is under threat.”
Meanwhile, Beijing lodged a strong protest with the US over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the visit will affect the political relations between the US and China.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry condemned Pelosi’s visit, saying it seriously harms peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, adding that “if Washington insists on taking the wrong approach, it should be responsible for any serious consequences.”
Moreover, the Chinese Ministry of Defence announced that it will start military operations in response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Also, Chinese “Sukhoi-35” fighters crossed the Taiwan Strait, amid a Chinese military alert.
The White House said that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan does not threaten China’s sovereignty and that Beijing’s threats “will not frighten us”.
As a response to the Chinese actions, the Taiwanese Defence Ministry raised the combat alert level for its forces from Tuesday morning until noon on Wednesday and said that it has the determination, confidence and ability to protect its national security.
The ministry added that its forces are fully aware of the activities near Taiwan and that they will be deployed to confront any threats.