House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unannounced visit to Taiwan has triggered China

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing heavy criticism from China as she tours Taiwan

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on a tour of Asia that includes visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, but it is the American politicians’ unannounced stop in Taiwan that is being heavily criticised by China.

Nancy Pelosi says she isn’t deviating from or contradicting a longstanding US policy, but her controversial visit to the democratic island shows otherwise. It’s a subject that Ms. Pelosi had written about in the Washington Post where Ms Pelosi criticised China’s “brutal crackdown” against political dissent in Hong Kong, as well as its treatment of minorities, calling it China’s conduct nothing short of genocide.

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Credit: NDTV

According to sources, Ms. Pelosi is said to be meeting a group of activists who speak out about China’s human rights record later this afternoon.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi again issued a strong response, stating  “Some American politicians are playing with fire on the issue of Taiwan,” And have actioned a set of exercises that will include joint air and sea drills in the north, south-west, and south-east of Taiwan, combined with long-range live firing in the Taiwan Strait and missile test-launches in the sea east of Taiwan. (via Eastern Theatre Command) 

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry has asked residents to stay calm but has expressed condemnation of China’s actions. “This will definitely not have a good outcome, the exposure of America’s bullying face again shows it as the world’s biggest saboteur of peace.”

Nancy Pelosi has defended her visit to Taiwan in a recent Twitter post, reitterating “By traveling to Taiwan, we honor our commitment to democracy: reaffirming that the freedoms of Taiwan — and all democracies — must be respected.”