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Pelosi’s visit. China and the U.S. scrambled fighter jets, while Taiwan deployed air defense

Pelosi wants to meet with the leadership of Taiwan. Photo: Getty Images

Pelosi wants to meet with the leadership of Taiwan. Photo: Getty Images

The visit of Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan can lead to a direct conflict between the U.S. and China. The plane started landing on the island at about 5:25 PM Kyiv time and landed at 5:45 PM.

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Twenty minutes before Pelosi landed, China had closed the airspace near Taiwan while the latter had removed camouflage covers from anti-aircraft guns at Songshan Airport, where the American guest was expected to arrive. The residents of the capital city of Taipei went out into the streets to meet Pelosi. Her plane had been tracked on Flightradar 24 by about 630 thousand people.

Why does this visit infuriate China, and why is it so important for Pelosi’s Asia tour?

Tensions between China and Taiwan

People from all over the world tracked the plane's movements

People from all over the world tracked the plane's movements

On August 2, due to Nancy Pelosi’s possible visit, the Taiwanese ministry of defense ramped up its military preparedness up until August 4. According to the local media, the air force also relocated eight Mirage 2000 fighter jets to the air force base in the Taitung sector.

At midnight, China started military exercises in the South China Sea, which will be held until August 6, and Xiamen, Fuzhou, and Quanzhou airports in the Fujian province, which is separated from the island of Taiwan by only a strait, partially canceled flights.

Foreign ships are also prohibited for the period of the exercises from entering the waters where they are held, and videos of military equipment moving towards the Fujian province appeared on social media.

During the exercises, China has already fired artillery at the Taiwan Strait, prompting Taiwan to scramble fighter jets and deploy air defense systems.

Nancy Pelosi did arrive in Taiwan

Nancy Pelosi did arrive in Taiwan

Five minutes before Pelosi landed, the island had raised its combat readiness to the second (defense) level, while in eastern China, air raid alerts went off. Local media reported that Su-35 fighter jets took off for Taiwan. The U.S. responded by sending tens of fighter jets from a Japanese base to intercept them.

Why is Pelosi flying to Taiwan?

630,000 people watched Pelosi's plane land

630,000 people watched Pelosi's plane land

After having landed at Songshan Airport in Taipei, Pelosi is staying for the night in the Grand Hyatt hotel, and in the morning of August 3, she is meeting with the Taiwanese leadership, including President Tsai Ing-wen.

This visit was planned as part of the speaker’s Asia tour, which started on July 30 and is aimed at demonstrating America’s support for Taiwan.

Although China threatened military action, since it considers the U.S. to be interfering with its internal affairs and the White House warned Pelosi of the threat, she didn’t cancel the visit.

The speaker has long been criticizing the communist regime and violations of human rights in China and has supported pro-democratic movements in the country.

The Pentagon is currently monitoring China's movements in the region around the clock and has a plan for Pelosi's security during the tour. In particular, the U.S. has moved its warplanes and aircraft carriers closer to Taiwan.

Why does China threaten Pelosi?

China sent fighter jets to Taiwan. Photo: China Military

China sent fighter jets to Taiwan. Photo: China Military

As the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian explained, due to Pelosi's status as the third-ranking official in the US government, her visit to Taiwan will lead to "grave consequences", because China considers it to undermine its sovereignty.

The Page earlier wrote that the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, in his recent phone call with Joe Biden, urged the U.S. to not play with fire.

Calls to shoot down Pelosi's plane because of her support for "separatism" circulated on Chinese social media. The People's Republic of China considers Taiwan to be its territory, although it has lost control of the island and its government a long time ago.

The declaration of independence of the island and several smaller islands nearby (such as Penghu, Jinmen, and Mazzu) was made in 1950 by the Kuomintang, the once ruling party in China, which was defeated in the civil war.

The West insists that China give up the idea of seizing the island forcefully, although it doesn't fully recognize the independence of Taiwan.

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