Pelosi Meets Taiwan's President as China Starts Military Drills

China launched military exercises in the waters surrounding Taiwan in response to House Speaker Pelosi's 'provocative' visit to the island

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei, on Wednesday.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi attends a meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei, on Wednesday.Credit: TAIWAN PRESIDENTIAL OFFICE/ Reuters

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday during a visit to the island that has drawn Beijing's ire.

Pelosi also visited the Taiwan parliament during the trip, which made her the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the island in 25 years.

Beijing views the self-governing island as a breakaway territory that will one day be reunited with the mainland and warned the U.S. against allowing Pelosi to visit.

In response to her arrival late Tuesday, China launched military exercises in six areas in the waters surrounding Taiwan. They are expected to include long-range live-fire exercises and continue through Sunday.

The maneuvers are seen as the biggest show of military muscle from Beijing since the 1995 Taiwan Strait crisis, when China fired missiles over Taiwan and the U.S. dispatched two aircraft carrier groups.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, early Wednesday to protest Pelosi's visit as a "serious provocation and violation" of the one-China principle, state newspaper Global Times reported.

China also sent 21 planes into Taiwan's air defense identification zone on Tuesday alone, the Defense Ministry in Taipei said. Taiwan, which has 23 million inhabitants, has long considered itself independent.

Pelosi and her delegation arrived in Taipei a day earlier, and were greeted by Taiwan's foreign minister, Joseph Wu and Sandra Oudkirk, the top U.S. representative in Taiwan.

"Our congressional delegation's visit to Taiwan honors America's unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan's vibrant democracy," Pelosi said in a statement shortly after landing. "America's solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy."

Pelosi, who is second in the line of succession to the U.S. presidency and a long-time critic of Beijing, is on a tour of Asia that includes announced visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. Her stop in Taiwan had not been announced but had been widely anticipated.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed


AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op