US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrapped up her highly controversial visit to Taiwan on Wednesday amid criticism from China.
She had earlier said that she and other members of Congress were visiting Taiwan to “show that they will not abandon their commitment to the self-governing island.”
Ms Pelosi is the first high-ranking US official in 25 years to visit Taiwan despite strong warnings from China. In fact, China had openly criticized her visit with Chinese state media calling the trip an “opening war”.
A editorial in Global Times he said “the stage was set for war and the speaker’s visit may have lit the fuse”.
During the final leg of her visit, Ms. Pelosi also met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday before departing.
In a meeting with the president in Taipei, Ms Tsai thanked the US House Speaker for her support for democratic values and said she was committed to working with the US on security in the Taiwan Strait and the wider Indo-Pacific region.
“Speaker Pelosi is truly one of Taiwan’s most devoted friends,” Ms. Tsai said during the ceremony to present Ms. Pelosi with a medal, the highest civilian award called the “Order of Favorable Clouds with Special Grand Cord.”
The president added: “We are truly grateful to you for making this visit to Taiwan to demonstrate the steadfast support of the US Congress to Taiwan.”
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities also summoned the US envoy to Beijing to file a stern complaint and warned that Washington would “pay a price” for its “mistakes”.
Ms. Pelosi tweeted: “Our congressional delegation had the great privilege of meeting with Vice Speaker Yuan Tsai Chi-chang here in Taipei. We reiterated our unwavering support for Taiwan’s democracy, including on issues of security and stability, economic development and governance.”
He also said: “Make no mistake: America remains steadfast in our commitment to the people of Taiwan – now and for decades to come.”
Before Ms Pelosi arrived in Taipei, China had issued a stern statement saying Beijing opposed any involvement of Taiwanese officials with foreign governments and announced multiple military exercises around the island, parts of which would enter Taiwanese waters. Reuters reported.
However, senior Taiwanese officials said these “planned actions” violated the island’s sovereignty. ,” Captain Jian-chang Yu said in a briefing from the Ministry of National Defense.