Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker has just arrived in Taipei. While it was not officially announced, her visit was likely to be for national security reasons. However, the most significant secret was that she was there a few weeks before it became public.
#WATCHThe US Aircraft carrying Nancy Pelosi Speaker of House of Representatives lands in Taipei Taiwan.| US aircraft carrying House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi lands in Taipei, Taiwan.
(Source: Reuters) pic.twitter.com/pOpl9NHaio
— ANI (@ANI) August 2, 2022
WATCH LIVE: @SpeakerPelosiChina has threatened Taiwan’s land borders. https://t.co/zw5zI1zS6v
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) August 2, 2022
As she landed, officials in Taiwan were investigating a bomb threat against the country’s major international airport after receiving an unsigned email threatened to “stop the U.S. House speaker’s visit.”
The threat said that three explosive devices would be placed around the airport to “stop the Speaker’s visit to Taiwan.”
Except there was a small problem — Pelosi wasn’t arriving at that airport but another one with a Congressional delegation.
The unsigned note was addressed to the airport’s customer services at around 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday, according to Taiwan’s Apple Daily. The newspaper was among several to report that Pelosi’s congressional delegation (CODEL)—thought to be airborne after departing Malaysia—would land at Taipei’s Songshan Airport at around 10 p.m.
Investigators received the contents of the letter and the metadata. They will try to track down the origin of the threat.
It’s not clear if this is China once again trying to stir the pot against her visit to Taiwan, but that would stand to reason.
The island has been visited by Congressional Members many times. This Chinese response seems to have the potential to heighten tensions and justify an act against it.
Unfortunately, the Biden team hasn’t called China out for its threats. When reporters questioned them about the threats, John Kirby (Coordinator for Strategic Communications) and Karine Jean-Pierre (White House Press Secretary), failed to respond. They also wouldn’t explain why Joe Biden had said that the military didn’t want Pelosi to go.
Pelosi was supported by members from both parties of Congress. Newsweek
According to Taiwanese publications, Pelosi’s itinerary will include an in-person meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan and a visit to the island’s legislature—both on Wednesday.
At the White House rostrum, Kirby predicted China’s live-fire exercises were a potential prelude to escalation that could include the firing of missiles “in the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday: “Faced with the U.S.’s reckless disregard for China’s repeated and serious representations, any countermeasures taken by the Chinese side will be justified and necessary, which is also the right of any independent and sovereign country.”
Pelosi issued a statement.
Pelosi’s first statement about her arrival in Taiwan pic.twitter.com/L0by9vtFv4
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) August 2, 2022
So we’ll have to see if China wrote checks that they’re not willing to cash with all the bluster.