Foreign

US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Departs Taiwan After Controversial Visit

US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Departs Taiwan After Controversial Visit

US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Departs Taiwan After Controversial Visit

US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Departs Taiwan After Controversial Visit

On Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House, left Taiwan, capping a contentious historic visit to which Beijing retaliated with threats and military exercises.

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Live feeds showed the 82-year-old congressman waving to dignitaries as he boarded a US military plane at Taipei’s Songshan airport at 6 o’clock (10:00 GMT).

With China getting ready to conduct military drills perilously near to the island’s coasts in retribution for the visit, Taiwan struck a combative tone as it received Pelosi.

Despite repeated, stern threats from Beijing, which regards the island as its own and had stated that it would view Pelosi’s visit as a serious provocation, Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday.

US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Departs Taiwan After Controversial Visit

China responded swiftly, announcing what it said were “necessary and just” military drills in the seas just off Taiwan’s coast – some of the world’s busiest waterways.

“In the current struggle surrounding Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, the United States are the provocateurs. China is the victim,” Beijing’s foreign ministry said.

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But Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said the island of 23 million would not be cowed.

“Facing deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down. We will… continue to hold the line of defense for democracy,” Tsai said at an event with Pelosi in Taipei.

US Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, Departs Taiwan After Controversial Visit

She also thanked the 82-year-old US lawmaker for “taking concrete actions to show your staunch support for Taiwan at this critical moment.”

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China tries to keep Taiwan isolated on the world stage and opposes countries having official exchanges with Taipei.

Pelosi, second in line to the presidency, is the highest-profile elected US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years.


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