United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday evening, defying a string of threats from China that have sent tensions between the world’s two superpowers soaring.
Live broadcasts showed the 82-year-old lawmaker, who flew on a US military aircraft, being greeted at Taipei’s Songshan Airport by foreign minister Joseph Wu.
“Our delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy,” Pelosi’s official Twitter account tweeted moments after she arrived.
She added her visit “in no way contradicts” US policy towards Taiwan and Beijing.
Pelosi, second in line to the presidency, is the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years and Beijing has made clear that it regards her presence as a major provocation, setting the region on edge.