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As Pelosi touts ‘unwavering’ U.S. commitment to Taiwan, China denounces her visit.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday, brushing aside personal warnings from the Biden administration about the risk that her high-profile diplomatic visit would spark another crisis in Asia and receiving an immediate sharp response from the Chinese government.

A US military plane carrying Ms. Pelosi landed in Taipei late Tuesday after weeks of speculation about her travel plans. Her decision to proceed with the trip — shrouded in official secrecy until the last minute — makes her the most senior congressional official to come to the disputed island in 25 years, and creates a tense stalemate with China that US officials said would. can lead to more aggressive military stances.

In a statement released after her arrival, Ms Pelosi said the visit was a sign of the United States’ “unwavering commitment” to support the island’s democracy.

“America’s solidarity with Taiwan’s 23 million people is more important than ever today as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy,” she said. She added that the visit did not contradict US policy towards Taiwan.

China, opposing any alleged challenge to its claims about Taiwan, had repeatedly warned Ms Pelosi not to make the visit, and the United States had urged Beijing not to turn the moment into a crisis. After a phone call last week between President Biden and China’s president Xi Jinping, China’s foreign ministry condemned Ms Pelosi’s expected visit, saying that “playing with fire will set yourself on fire”.

Ahead of the trip, the government announced that the country’s military would hold new exercises in the strait between Taiwan and China, one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. As the plane carrying Ms. Pelosi approached Taiwan, Chinese state media reported that China had sent advanced fighter jets across the strait, a claim the Taiwan Ministry of Defense disputed.

After her plane landed, China’s foreign ministry further denounced the trip, saying it “seriously undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously undermines the political foundation of Sino-US relations and sends a gravely wrong signal to the separatist troops of the independence of Taiwan. ”

A separate statement from the Taiwanese Affairs Bureau of the Chinese Communist Party said any attempt at independence by Taiwan would be “crushed by the mighty force of the Chinese people.”

under mr. Xi, China’s most powerful leader in decades, Beijing has taken more aggressive military actions in the region and recently made claims about the strait separating Taiwan and China. Mr Xi has called for unification with Taiwan as part of China’s national rejuvenation, possibly even by force.

Over the years, the United States has sent a steady stream of senior officials to show solidarity with Taiwan. Recently, Biden said he would act to defend Taiwan in the event of a conflict, but White House officials have repeatedly reversed those statements, saying a long-standing policy of “strategic ambiguity” over Taiwan’s defense of power remains.

Publicly, senior White House officials have said Ms. Pelosi’s visit does not indicate any change in official policy and should be viewed by China as no different from any other visit to Taiwan by members of Congress.

“There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with long-standing US policy into some kind of crisis or conflict, or use it as a pretext to prevent aggressive military activity in or around the Straits.” of Taiwan,” said John F. Kirby, a National Security Council spokesman to reporters.

Claire Fu research contributed.

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