US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taipei on Tuesday, marking a significant show of support for Taiwan despite China’s threats of retaliation over the visit.
Pelosi’s stop in Taipei is the first time that a US House speaker has visited Taiwan in 25 years.
Her trip comes at a low point in US-China relations and despite warnings from the Biden administration against a stop in Taiwan.
A Taiwanese official told reporters that Pelosi is expected to stay in Taipei overnight.
Pelosi and the congressional delegation that accompanied her said in a statement that the visit “honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.”
Pelosi’s stop in Taiwan was not listed on the itinerary of her congressional visit to Asia, but the trip had been discussed for weeks.
The visit prompted warnings from China as well as the Biden administration, which briefed the speaker about the risks of visiting the self-governing island, which China claims as part of its territory.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement after Pelosi landed, charging that her visit “has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”