'We come in peace' – Pelosi to Taiwan
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a meeting with the deputy speaker and other members of Taiwan's parliament in Taipei on Wednesday morning, amid fierce protests and promises of “resolute countermeasures” from Beijing.
“We come in friendship to Taiwan, we come in peace to the region,” the third most senior official in the US government told Taiwanese lawmakers, adding that she wants to increase parliamentary exchanges between Washington and Taipei.
Calling Taiwan “one of the freest societies” in the world, Pelosi said her Congressional delegation had three main purposes and topics to discuss – security, economics and governance.
Following her brief public appearance in front of the cameras, Pelosi and other US delegation members proceeded to hold a closed-door session with the Taiwanese officials, while journalists were told to vacate the room.
Pelosi, 82, is currently on a tour of the Asian region. She earlier visited Singapore and Malaysia and is expected to hold high-level talks in South Korea and Japan. A stop in Taiwan was not on her official itinerary ahead of the tour.
After Pelosi touched down in Taipei late on Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador Nicholas Burns to lodge an official protest and warn that Washington will “pay the price.”
In the meantime, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced a series of military exercises and live-fire drills in six large maritime areas and their airspace around Taiwan.