Speaker Pelosi lands in Taiwan amid heightened tensions

China's Defense Ministry stated that it would launch a 'series of targeted military operations' in response to the visit.

 US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reacts to the overturning of Roe v Wade during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, June 24, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/MARY F. CALVERT)
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reacts to the overturning of Roe v Wade during her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, June 24, 2022.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MARY F. CALVERT)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday afternoon, as China threatened to respond if she visited the country and both China and the US moved forces into the area.

Pelosi's plane was escorted by Taiwanese fighter jets after she entered the country's airspace.

China moved military forces and equipment toward the border ahead of the visit and Chinese fighter jets were in the air in the area.

Shortly after landing, Pelosi tweeted "Our Congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy.

"Our discussions with Taiwan leadership will focus on reaffirming our support for our partner and on promoting our shared interests, including advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region," added Pelosi. "Our visit is one of several Congressional delegations to Taiwan – and it in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, US-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances. The United States continues to oppose unilateral efforts to change the status quo.”

A pro-US sign is displayed on a tower ahead of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's expected visit, in Taipei, Taiwan August 2, 2022. (credit: ANN WANG/REUTERS)A pro-US sign is displayed on a tower ahead of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's expected visit, in Taipei, Taiwan August 2, 2022. (credit: ANN WANG/REUTERS)

Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and Rep. Andy Kim joined Pelosi on her visit to Taiwan.

China FM: Pelosi's visit a very dangerous act of playing with fire

China's Foreign Ministry responded with outrage to the visit, stating that Pelosi's visit was conducted "in disregard of China's strong opposition and solemn representations" and "seriously violated the one-China principle and the three US-China Joint Communiques, severely impacted the political foundation of China-US relations, seriously violated China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, seriously undermined the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and sent a seriously wrong signal to the 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces."

"This is a very dangerous act of playing with fire, and those who play with fire will set themselves on fire," said the Foreign Ministry. "China will take all necessary measures to resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives to Taiwan. All consequences arising therefrom must be borne by the US side and the 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces."

The Chinese Defense Ministry also responded to the visit on Tuesday, saying "The Chinese People's Liberation Army is on high alert and will launch a series of targeted military operations to counter it, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely thwart external interference and 'Taiwan independence' separatist attempts."

Shortly after Pelosi landed in Taiwan, the Chinese Eastern Theater Command announced a series of exercises surrounding Taiwan starting on Tuesday evening.

N.Korea denounces US 'interference' on Chinese internal affairs over Pelosi's Taiwan visit

North Korea's foreign ministry on Wednesday criticized what it called US "interference" on China's internal affairs over House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, the North's official KCNA said.

Reuters contributed to this report.