IBADAN, Nigeria ( VOICE OF NAIJA)- US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday evening, defying days of increasingly stark warnings from China that have sent tensions between the world’s two superpowers soaring.
Live television images showed the 82-year-old lawmaker, who flew in on a US military aircraft into Taipei’s Songshan Airport, being greeted on arrival by Taiwan’s foreign minister Joseph Wu.
“Our Congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy,” Pelosi and the delegation said in a joint statement Tuesday.
“Our visit is part of our broader trip to the Indo-Pacific — including Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan — focused on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance. Our discussions with Taiwan leadership will focus on reaffirming our support for our partner and on promoting our shared interests, including advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region. America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”
“Our visit is one of several Congressional delegations to Taiwan — and it in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, U.S.-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances,” they added. “The United States continues to oppose unilateral efforts to change the status quo.”
Just minutes after Pelosi’s arrival in Taiwan was confirmed, China’s largest state-run news agency, Xinhua, announced that live-fire military drills would be held in the airspace and waters surrounding and close to Taiwan from Thursday to Sunday.