TAIPEI, Taiwan — The White House worked urgently to defuse tensions with China as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met Wednesday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and other officials during a high-level visit to the self-governing island against the government’s wishes, hoping to avert a crisis. geopolitics amid threats and military maneuvers by Beijing.
White House officials warned that China was preparing for possible aggressive action in response to Pelosi’s visit after this week, and they reiterated emphatically that the Chinese Communist Party should not use the visit as a pretext to increase military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.
“We have seen a number of announcements from [People’s Republic of China] only in the last few hours which unfortunately was in line with what we anticipated,” White House spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday afternoon. “China has positioned itself to take further steps, and we expect them to continue to react in the longer term.”
Pelosi’s plane landed at Taipei’s Songshan Airport in Taipei just before 11 p.m. local time Tuesday. Wearing a mask, he was greeted by Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, and staff from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto US Embassy in Taipei.
Speaking during a meeting with Tsai on Wednesday, Pelosi said she had traveled to Taiwan to deliver a “firm message,” adding, “We will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan. We are proud of our lasting friendship.”
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