Pelosi leaves Taiwan after visit that crossed Beijing’s ‘red line’

Beijing, Aug 3 (EFE).- The aircraft carrying US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi took off at 6.01 pm local time from Taipei’s Songshan Airport, concluding a visit that outraged China and during which she promised that the United States “will not abandon” Taiwan.

“Make no mistake: America remains unwavering in our commitment to the people of Taiwan- now & for decades to come,” tweeted Pelosi before leaving Taiwan and continuing on her Asia tour that includes visits to South Korea and Japan.

The US politician, who spent less than 24 hours on the island, visited Taiwan’s parliament early Wednesday and later met with the island’s president, Tsai Ing-wen.

Following the meeting with Tsai, Pelosi stressed that Taiwan was a model for the region, in contrast to China, and lauded the success of the Taiwanese people and their courage to become a more democratic country.

In the afternoon, Pelosi met with human rights activists in the Taiwanese capital, including Wuer Kaixi, one of the leaders of the student movement that led to the protests in Tiananmen Square, which were suppressed by China in 1989.

Pelosi landed in Taipei on Tuesday night in an unannounced trip that has outraged the Chinese government, which is responding with a military drills in the Taiwan Strait and trade sanctions on the island.

The island’s Ministry of National Defense denounced in a statement that 21 Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Tuesday and the island’s air force scrambled a combat air patrol, sent radio warnings, and deployed defense missile systems to track the planes.

Pelosi’s presence in Taiwan has further strained ties between the US and China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan and considers the trip a provocation with which the North American country violates the existing status quo on this territory, one of the main reasons for bilateral conflict.

Washington is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and would be its greatest military ally in the event of a possible war with China, which considers the island a rebel province and has not ruled out use of force to achieve “reunification.” EFE


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