US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has become the highest-ranking American politician to visit Taiwan in 25 years, which has attracted immediate action from China as the country announced missile tests and military drills in different areas surrounding the main island of Taiwan from August 4 to August 7.
On Tuesday night, Pelosi received Taiwanese officials on the tarmac, including Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, and posed for pictures. According to a statement from the Taiwanese president’s office, her congressional delegation will meet with her on Wednesday morning and over lunch.
Pelosi said in a statement that her visit “in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy” and that America “continues to oppose unilateral efforts to change the status quo.”
“Our congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy,” Pelosi said.
In recent years, the US has been backtracking, and even blurring and hollowing out the one-China principle. It has upgraded its level of contact with Taiwan and has steadily increased arms sales to Taiwan.— Hua Chunying 华春莹 (@SpokespersonCHN) August 2, 2022
“China will take all necessary measures to resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and all consequences must be born by the US and the Taiwan independence forces,” the Foreign Ministry in Beijing said in a statement after Pelosi landed.
Prior to Pelosi’s visit, China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, had threatened an undefined military reaction that ran the potential of igniting a conflict between the two largest economies in the world. Last Thursday, President Xi Jinping warned President Joe Biden that “anyone plays with fire would get burnt” and that he would “resolutely preserve China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
“We are going to make sure that she has a safe and secure visit,” John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said on CNN. “We will not be intimidated or deterred from all of our other security commitments in the region because of the Chinese rhetoric or even some of their actions.”
Meanwhile, Prior to Pelosi’s visit, Taiwan was subject to cyberattacks; the presidential office said that a 20-minute onslaught in the early evening hours was 200 times worse than usual. The Foreign Ministry’s website likewise appeared to experience sporadic outages.