China Says Nancy Pelosi’s Visit is Provocative and Dangerous

Beijing said US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s historic visit to Taiwan is “extremely dangerous.”

According to the Chinese government, the senior US politician was “playing with fire” by visiting the island that China claims as its own.

In a statement, Beijing said: “Those who play with fire will perish by it.” The comments came just days after China warned that its armed forces would respond and “will not stand idly by” in the face of actions by the US over Taiwan, which it sees as a breakaway province that must reunite with the rest of the country.

There is “no reason for this visit to become a spurring event for a crisis or conflict,” said US national security spokesperson John Kirby.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Kirby reaffirmed that Ms. Pelosi’s trip was in line with the US’s long-standing policy toward China and did not breach its sovereignty.

However, China’s state-run media said that military jets were flying over the Taiwan Strait when her plane touched down. Taiwan first rejected those accusations but later claimed that more than 20 Chinese military aircraft had flown into its air defense zone on Tuesday.

Then, just an hour after Ms. Pelosi’s arrival, the Chinese government announced that the People’s Liberation Army would conduct a series of live-fire military exercises in the air and at sea around Taiwan later this week. Beijing issued an alert to ships and planes, saying they should not enter the affected areas.

Prior to her trip, Ms. Pelosi claimed it honored the US unshakeable commitment to supporting Taiwan’s dynamic democracy and did not go against US policy.

As the globe struggles to decide between authoritarianism and democracy, America’s support for Taiwan’s 23 million people is more crucial “today than ever,” she added.

However, her visit comes after days of rising hostilities. Chinese jets had previously flown as far as the median line, which serves as an unofficial boundary between China and Taiwan in the waters between them.

Ms. Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan had been the subject of speculation in recent weeks, especially since she set out on a tour across Asia on Sunday, but it was kept under wraps until the last minute.

Her official itinerary included Malaysia, Singapore, Japan and South Korea but did not mention Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has warned the White House against provoking China with Ms. Pelosi visiting Taiwan.