Taipei, August 2

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday night despite threats from Beijing of serious consequences, becoming the highest-ranking American official to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China in 25 years.

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The visit honours America’s commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy. Nancy Pelosi, US House Speaker

Pelosi’s visit has triggered increased tension between China and the US. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, to be annexed by force, if necessary, and views visits by foreign government officials as recognition of the island’s sovereignty.

China had warned of “resolute and strong measures” if Pelosi went ahead with the trip, but has given no details on what these might be. Speculation has centered on threatening military exercises and possible incursions by Chinese planes and ships into areas under Taiwanese control.

The Biden administration did not explicitly urge Pelosi to call off the visit, while seeking to assure Beijing it would not signal any change is bankrupting its national credibility”. “Some American politicians are playing with fire on the issue of Taiwan,” Wang said in a statement. “This will definitely not have a good outcome… the exposure of America’s bullying face again shows it as the world’s biggest saboteur of peace.”

Pelosi said, “Our visit is one of several Congressional delegations to Taiwan -– and it in no way contradicts the longstanding US policy.”

Shortly before Pelosi was due to arrive, Chinese state media said Chinese Su-35 fighter jets were “crossing” Taiwan Strait, the body of water that separates mainland China and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the People’s Liberation Army has said it will launch a series of targeted military operations to counter Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan island.

Earlier, four United States warships, including an aircraft carrier, were positioned in waters east of Taiwan on what the United States Navy called routine deployments.

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