For well over a week now, the world knew that US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was considering a trip to Taiwan, but very few had knowledge of precisely when that trip may occur.
Then, on Tuesday night, approaching the 11 o’clock hour, Pelosi touched down in Taipei.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., landed in Taiwan late Tuesday evening local time, and she is expected to meet members of Taiwan’s legislature and President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday, according to a source familiar with planning for her visit.
The highly-anticipated stop has faced stark warnings from China, in turn worrying the White House that it could trigger a crisis in the Taiwan Strait and worsen already tense U.S.-China relations. China sent two Su-35 fighter jets across the Taiwan strait ahead of Pelosi’s arrival, according to state broadcaster CCTV, and the spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry said on Twitter, “The US & Taiwan have made provocations together first, whereas China has been compelled to act in self-defense.”
The arrival of a high-ranking US diplomat to the nation had China enraged.
In response to Pelosi’s visit, the Chinese Foreign Ministry released a statement that said, in part, it was a “serious violation of the one-China principle.” The ministry added, “It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for ‘Taiwan independence.'”
Pelosi has long been an adamant critic of of China, and her visit is undoubtedly meant to be a not-so-subtle protest of the CCP’s continued belligerence on the subject of Taiwan.
China’s lack of a military response to the arrival of Pelosi has been seen as weakness on the global stage, allowing much of the world a bit of breathing room when it comes to the bullying of Beijing.