Nancy Pelosi Defies China's Warnings, Lands in Taiwan

The House speaker departed from Malaysia on Tuesday afternoon
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2022 9:48 AM CDT
Nancy Pelosi Defies China's Warnings, Lands in Taiwan
In this image taken from video, a plane carrying U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lands at Songshan Airport in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 2 2022.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The possible visit that's been buzzed about for days has come to pass. Despite weeks of warnings from China, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday landed in Taiwan, making her the highest ranking US official to visit the island since 1997. The AP reports Pelosi and her delegation arrived at around 10:45pm local time from Malaysia, where she'd had a lunch meeting with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Pelosi, who emerged wearing a face mask about five minutes after the aircraft landed, met on the tarmac with a group of Taiwanese officials and posed for photos, reports USA Today.

Taiwan’s three largest national newspapers reported by way of unidentified sources that Pelosi planned to spend the night in Taiwan. The flight tracking site Flightradar24 said Pelosi's aircraft, a US Air Force Boeing C-40C, was the most tracked in the world on Tuesday evening, with 300,000 viewers, per the AP. The plane took a roundabout route, flying east over Indonesia rather than directly over the South China Sea. Pelosi's office kept much of the details of her travel plans quiet for security reasons, though there were leaks, per USA Today.

The Wall Street Journal reports that at Tuesday's daily press briefing held prior to Pelosi's arrival, a rep for China's Foreign Ministry emphasized China's objection to the visit. "No matter for what reason Pelosi goes to Taiwan, it will be a stupid, dangerous, and unnecessary gamble. It is difficult to imagine a more reckless and provocative action." She did not detail what Pelosi's action might provoke, and referred questions about the potential mobilization of troops to China's Ministry of National Defense. Reuters reports four US warships, including the USS Ronald Reagan, are currently occupying waters east of Taiwan as part of what the US Navy termed routine deployments. (Read more Nancy Pelosi stories.)

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