The US House speaker arrived in Chinese Taipei amid escalated tensions between Beijing and Washington in a trip considered by China as "dangerous" and "provocative."

Iran PressAsia: Nancy Pelosi landed in Chinese Taipei on Tuesday night on the highest-level visit by a US official for decades, defying Chinese threats of a military response.

Shortly after landing in Taipei, Pelosi released a statement saying her visit “honours America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy . . . as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy,” Financial Times reported.

She is the most senior US official to visit Taiwan while in office since Newt Gingrich, one of her predecessors as Speaker, did so in 1997. Beijing claims Chinese Taipei as part of its sovereign territory and has persistently warned that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) would “not sit by idly” if Pelosi dared visit.

In advance of Pelosi’s touchdown on Tuesday, the PLA staged air and sea maneuvers in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, as well as a string of military drills in other coastal areas. The US air force plane carrying Pelosi and her delegation did not fly directly from her previous stop of Kuala Lumpur to Taipei, taking a wide detour via Borneo and the Philippines.

Meanwhile, China's UN Ambassador Zhang Jun said on Monday the visit by the US House speaker to Chinese Taipei would undermine US-China ties and is considered dangerous and provocative.

He urged Washington to honor its commitment to the one-China principle, which he said US President Joe Biden reiterated during a call with Chinese leader Xi Jinping last week.

Beijing has issued several warnings about repercussions should Pelosi visit Chinese Taipei, a move that would be a dramatic, though not unprecedented, show of US support for the island.

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China has repeatedly warned the US against formal ties with Chinese Taipei, which is the sovereign territory of China.

Under the "One China" policy, nearly all countries across the globe recognize Beijing's sovereignty over Chinese Taipei, including the US, which has no formal diplomatic ties with the territory but continues to support its anti-China stance and supply it with massive amounts of armaments.


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China calls Pelosi's potential visit to Taiwan dangerous, provocative