By Yimou Lee and Sarah Wu
TAIPEI (Reuters) -China furiously condemned the highest-level U.S. visit to Taiwan in 25 years as House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi hailed the self-ruled island as “one of the freest societies in the world” and pledged American solidarity.
Beijing demonstrated its anger with Pelosi’s presence on an island that it says is part of China with a burst of military activity in surrounding waters, summoning the U.S. ambassador in Beijing and halting several agricultural imports from Taiwan.
Some of China’s planned military exercises will take place within Taiwan’s 12 nautical mile sea and air territory, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry, an unprecedented move a senior defence official described to reporters as “amounting to a sea and air blockade of Taiwan”.
Pelosi arrived with a congressional delegation on an unannounced visit late on Tuesday, defying China’s repeated warnings, in what she said shows unwavering U.S. commitment to Taiwan’s democracy.
“Our delegation came to Taiwan to make unequivocally clear that we will not abandon Taiwan,” Pelosi told Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
“Now, more than ever, America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial, and that’s the message we are bringing here, today.”
Addressing parliament, Pelosi said new U.S. legislation aimed at strengthening the American chip …read more