Pelosi Taiwan visit – live: Russia says tensions not to be ‘underestimated’ as

Nancy Pelosi sends ‘unequivocal message’ that ‘America stands with Taiwan’

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan on a US Air Force jet on Wednesday evening, concluding a historic and high-stakes visit that drew a slew of responses from China.

Beijing warned of “punishing” those who offend it, while Chinese state media called the speaker’s trip an “opening salvo of war”.

China says it will hold almost a week of military exercises that include live-fire drills in six zones surrounding Taiwan, which the island has dubbed a “blockade”. Earlier, it imposed trade restrictions on some food items and construction materials.

Meanwhile, Russia backed China’s assertion that the trip was a deliberate attempt by Washington to irritate Beijing, while a Kremlin spokesperson said that the tension created from Ms Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan “should not be underestimated”.”

Ms Pelosi was awarded Taiwan’s highest civilian award during her meeting with the Taiwanese president earlier today, where she reaffirmed US support for democracy on the contested island.

“We will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan and we are proud of our enduring friendship,” Ms Pelosi said in an address.


White House Press Secretary and Fox News host spar over Biden’s lack of endorsement for Pelosi’s trip

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Fox News’ Peter Doocy sparred on Wednesday over the fact that Joe Biden has not endorsed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

Mr Doocy asked Ms Jean-Pierre if Mr Biden was “worried about hurting Xi’s feelings,” referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Ms Jean-Pierre responded that Mr Biden had made clear they could not tell congressional members where to go, which prompted Mr Doocy to say that Republican leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Lindsey Graham, offered praise to Ms Pelosi for the trip.

Ms Jean-Pierre refused to say Mr Biden supported the trip.

Republicans have managed to work Mr Biden into a tough spot; by offering their support and noting his silence, it makes the president appear afraid to anger Beijing. If he does endorse her trip, it could ratchet up the already heightened tensions between the two nations.


White House: There is no reason for China to turn Taiwan trip into crisis

While reponding to reporters questions during a briefing, White House Press Secretary reiterated the Biden administration’s stance regarding Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan this week, stating that “members of Congress have the right to travel wherever they choose” and added that there was no reason for China to turn the House speaker’s visit into a “crisis”.

“There’s no reason for Beijing to turn this visit, which is consistent with long standing US policy and into some sort of crisis,” Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday. “We have been very clear there’s no change in our One China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. That has not changed.”

The press secretary emphasised that the US doesn’t want a crisis, but noted that the…

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