Despite threats of “serious consequences” from China, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made an unannounced stop in Taiwan yesterday on her congressional visit to Asia, making her the highest-ranking US official to visit the self-governing island in 25 years.
As expected, the move has strained an already tense relationship between Beijing and Washington. China condemned Pelosi’s visit almost immediately, as its Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that the visit “seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The agency then seemingly doubled down on its threats, stating that “these moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it,” before promising to conduct military exercises and live-fire drills in regions surrounding Taiwan.
In a statement made shortly after landing, Pelosi said “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.”