Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan amid heightened US-China tensions

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China had threatened “serious consequences” if Pelosi – the highest ranking US official to travel to Taiwan in 25 years – went ahead with her visit.

“The US side will bear the responsibility and pay the price for undermining China’s sovereign security interests,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

On Tuesday morning, Chinese warships and aircraft repeatedly edged into the median line of the Taiwan Strait, according to reports. Four US naval ships, including one aircraft carrier, were deployed in the waters east of Taiwan before Pelosi’s arrival.

Analysts in Taiwan said Beijing’s reactions to the visit are likely to be both short and long-term.
“We can expect China to escalate its existing military activity, such as live-fire exercises, but calibrated in a way so as not to enter direct conflict with either Taiwan or the United States,” James Lee, a researcher of US-Taiwan relations at Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, told Al Jazeera.

“Chinese warships and fighters may cross over the median line in response to the visit, but they are unlikely to enter Taiwan’s national airspace or its territorial waters, as there is too high a risk of engaging Taiwanese air force fighters,” Lee said.

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