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Speaker Pelosi lands in Taiwan as China warns United States not to ‘play with fire’

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan, despite receiving warnings from China and President Biden reportedly being cautioned against Pelosi visiting Taiwan during a call with President Xi.

Pelosi took to Twitter to confirm her visit: “Our delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy. Our discussions with Taiwan leadership reaffirm our support for our partner & promote our shared interests, including advancing a free & open Indo-Pacific region.”

She added, “America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”

Pelosi is the highest ranking official to visit Taiwan since Newt Gingrich’s visit in 1997.

Nancy Mace (R-SC) added her support for Pelosi’s visit, saying on Twitter: “While I don’t often agree with Nancy Pelosi, I do believe in her right to travel to Taiwan without anyone’s permission. No one in Congress should take orders from Communist China…”

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released statement Tuesday stating that Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan “seriously infringes upon China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to China’s state-owned newspaper People’s Daily. Government sources said the visit was “extremely dangerous” and added that “Those who play with fire will eventually perish by it.”

“Some American politicians are playing with fire on the issue of Taiwan,” said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who went on to say that the US was “the world’s biggest saboteur of peace.”

White House officials have remained tight-lipped on whether they believe Pelosi should have included Taiwan as part of her tour of Asia.  

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby appeared on “Fox and Friends,” and he stated that Pelosi’s visit is unlikely to escalate tensions. “The aggressiveness, the coercion, the increase in tensions in the last weeks and months have all come from the Chinese side. What we have said is that there is no reason that this visit should escalate tensions in any way whatsoever.”

“We don’t support Taiwan independence, but we absolutely do support the right and the prerogative of congressional leaders to include Speaker Pelosi to visit Taiwan if that’s what she wants to do,” Kirby said on CNN after Pelosi arrived in Taiwan.

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