Nancy Pelosi DEFIES ALL ODDS as she lands in Taiwan despite threats of Chinese retaliation
Pelosi became the first US House Speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years. Her stop in Taipei comes at a time of strained relations between US and China
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defied all odds as she landed in Taipei on Tuesday, August 2, in a strong show of support for Taiwan amid threats of retaliation by China over her visit. Pelosi, 82, became the first US House Speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
Her stop in Taipei comes at a time of strained relations between US and China, which warned the Biden administration multiple times against a scheduled stop in Taiwan. A Taiwanese official told CNN that Pelosi is expected to stay in Taipei overnight.
Social media was inundated with various reactions as the plane with the call sign #SPAR19 landed at the Subang Air Force Base.
#breaking Speaker Pelosi has just landed in Taiwan, and China is now condemning the visit: "It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and seriously infringes upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity." @KateBolduan pic.twitter.com/4yvW7kDEPa— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) August 2, 2022
Some wondered whether the speaker was even in the aircraft.
"#BREAKING: WHEELS DOWN: The US military plane suspected to be carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan at Taipei Songshan Airport. Now we await to see Chinas response – assuming Pelosi is actually in that plane," YWN reporter Moshe Schwartz tweeted.
#BREAKING: WHEELS DOWN: The US military plane suspected to be carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan at Taipei Songshan Airport.— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) August 2, 2022
Now we await to see Chinas response – assuming Pelosi is actually in that plane. pic.twitter.com/zsPpxGjUnL
However, she removed such doubts as she emerged from the plane and descended carefully down the staircase. Chinese media reacted swiftly to the news of her landing despite several warnings. "BREAKING: Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan. Chinese media report that this move will hasten reunification efforts, and all military options are on the table," journalist Danny Haiphong wrote.
BREAKING: Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan.— Danny Haiphong (@SpiritofHo) August 2, 2022
Chinese media report that this move will hasten reunification efforts, and all military options are on the table.
One Ukrainian politician raised eyebrows as he congratulated his country and declared that "USA in the only superpower right now" in a bizarre tweet. "The plane with Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan. The game in the multi-polar world is over. The USA is the only superpower right now. Congratulations Ukraine!" Ukrainian MP Oleksiy Goncharenko added.
The plane with Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan. The game in the multi-polar world is over. The USA is the only superpower right now. Congratulations Ukraine!— Oleksiy Goncharenko (@GoncharenkoUa) August 2, 2022
Others anxiously waited for any sign of retaliation from the Chinese government.
"The Pelosi has landed. Now we get to see how the mighty People's Republic of China reacts to an 82-year-old American politician visiting Taiwan," Scottish entrepreneur Euan MacDonald offered.
The Pelosi has landed. Now we get to see how the mighty People's Republic of China reacts to an 82-year-old American politician visiting Taiwan. pic.twitter.com/0coAmucdZQ— Euan MacDonald (@Euan_MacDonald) August 2, 2022
It's worth noting that Pelosi's US Air Force jet became the most-tracked aircraft in the world after it took off from Kuala Lumpur. According to FlightRadar24, nearly 300,000 users were tracking the movements of SPAR19, a US Air Force-operated Boeing C-40C that was carrying the speaker. Pelosi's Taipei stop was not on the original itinerary of her congressional visit to Asia, but the visit had been discussed in the weeks leading up to her trip. The potential stop caused China to warn the Biden administration about the risks of visiting the self-governing island, which the ROC claims as part of its territory. The Chinese government warned on Monday against the "egregious political impact" of Pelosi's visit, declaring that its military "won't sit by idly" if Beijing believes its "sovereignty and territorial integrity" is threatened.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the decision to visit Taiwan was the speaker's herself. He noted several members of Congress, including past speakers, have visited the country. "Congress is an independent, coequal branch of government," Blinken said in remarks at the United Nations on Monday. "The decision is entirely the speaker's." This was followed by White House officials allegedly warning Beijing not to take any escalatory actions in response to Pelosi's trip. "There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit, consistent with long standing US policy, into some sort of crisis or conflict, or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait," National Security Council Strategic Coordinator for Communications John Kirby told reporters on Monday, CNN reported.