China cannot stop US officials from visiting Taiwan, says Nancy Pelosi

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said China will not isolate Taiwan by preventing American officials from traveling there.

He made the remarks in Tokyo during the latest leg of an Asia trip highlighted by a visit to Taiwan that infuriated China.

Ms Pelosi, the first House Speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years, said in Taipei on Wednesday that the US commitment to democracy on the self-governing island and elsewhere “remains ironclad”.


Nancy Pelosi leaves Taiwan on Wednesday (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs/AP)

Ms Pelosi and five other members of Congress arrived in Tokyo late Thursday after visiting Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.

China, which lays claim to Taiwan and threatens to annex it by force if necessary, called its visit to the island a provocation and began military drills, including rocket fire, in six zones around Taiwan on Thursday.

Five of the missiles launched by China landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone off Hateruma, an island far south of Japan’s main islands, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said.


Nancy Pelosi with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo (Kim Min-Hee/AP)

He said Japan has protested the missile landings in China as “a serious threat to Japan’s national security and the safety of the Japanese people.”

The Japanese Ministry of Defense also speculated that four missiles flew over the capital Taipei and crossed the mainland, according to a statement released on Twitter by its embassy in Washington DC.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry did not dispute the claim, saying the trajectory is “above the atmosphere and not harmful to the vast area on the ground over which it flies.” China cannot stop US officials from visiting Taiwan, says Nancy Pelosi

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