Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 09 August 2022 7.22 AM IST

Nancy Pelosi’s plane lands in Taiwan amid heightened US-China tensions


TAIPEI: Amid a heightened Chinese security threat, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plane landed in Taiwan, media reports said on Tuesday.

China has earlier warned that the US will “pay the price” if Pelosi visits Taiwan.

“What I can tell you is, the US will definitely have to bear responsibility and pay the price for harming China’s sovereignty and security interests,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the media in Beijing. He further added that China will take “firm and powerful” measures in response.

Before Pelosi's trip, China’s military said that it would conduct drills with live ammunition off its coast at one of the narrowest points of the Taiwan Strait. A Chinese Air Force spokesperson also said that it would send fighter jets around Taiwan as a demonstration of its ability to defend its sovereignty.

However, US National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said the US Speaker has the right to visit Taiwan and that her visit was not ‘uncommon’.

“If she goes it’s not without precedent, it’s not new,” Kirby said, adding, “The Speaker has not confirmed any travel plans and it is for the Speaker to do so, and her staff.”

Since the reports of the US House Speaker’s visit were released last month, Beijing has been warning of Nancy’s Taiwan visit saying that it will act strongly and take countermeasures if the US side insists on going ahead with the visit.

In a press briefing last month, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Pelosi’s Taiwan visit will have a severe impact on China-US ties.

Earlier, US President Joe Biden had said that the US military believes it is not a “good idea” for Pelosi to travel to Taiwan as planned.

In a phone call between the US and Chinese presidents last week, Xi Jinping told Biden that China would safeguard its national sovereignty and those who play with fire will perish by it. Biden, meanwhile, told Xi that the US policy on Taiwan hasn’t changed and that it opposes unilateral changes to the status quo.

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