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US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan, elicits angry response from China

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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, Similarly, China reacted with immediate anger to the first visit by a high-ranking US official in 25 years.

Pelosi and her delegation disembarked from a US government jet at Songshan Airport in downtown Taipei and were greeted by Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and US representative to Taiwan Sandra Udkirk.

Pelosi defended the visit to Taiwan, saying it “doesn’t go against long-standing U.S. policy.”

“The U.S. congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan celebrates the United States’ unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy,” Pelosi said.

“Today, as the world faces a choice between dictatorship and democracy, the solidarity of the 23 million people of Taiwan and the United States is more important than ever.”

Pelosi is on an announced tour of Asia that includes visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. Her stay in Taiwan was not announced, but was widely anticipated.

Before her arrival on Tuesday, Chinese fighter jets buzzed the line that separates the Taiwan Strait. This was confirmed shortly thereafter as a sign of upcoming events.

China’s defense ministry said after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the Chinese military was now on high alert and would launch “targeted military operations”.

Separately, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command said it would conduct a joint military operation near Taiwan from Tuesday night.

Exercises include joint air and sea exercises to the north, southwest and southeast of Taiwan.

These exercises will be combined with long-range live-fire fires in the Taiwan Strait and missile-launch tests in Taiwan’s East Sea, the Eastern Theater Command said.

Taiwan’s defense ministry urged residents to keep calm, but condemned China’s actions.

Nancy Pelosi has arrived in Taiwan. (AP: Cheng Yingying)

Ms. Pelosi landed to fanfare, and the Taipei 101 building lit up with LED displays to welcome Ms. Pelosi to Taiwan.