Highlights

  • China scrambles jets to Taiwan as Pelosi begins her visit
  • Pelosi's visit has heightened tensions between US and China
  • China had warned US against the visit

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21 Chinese military planes fly into Taiwan as US House Speaker Pelosi visits

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday, becoming the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China

21 Chinese military planes flew into Taiwan's air defence zone on Tuesday, officials in Taipei said, as US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began her controversial visit to the self-ruled island that Beijing considers its territory.

The island's defence ministry said in a statement on Twitter: "21 PLA aircraft ... entered #Taiwan's southwest ADIZ on August 2, 2022," referring to the air defence identification zone.

The ADIZ is not the same as Taiwan's territorial airspace but includes a far greater area that overlaps with part of China's own air defence identification zone and even includes some of the mainland.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday, becoming the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China, which quickly announced that it would conduct military maneuvers in retaliation for her presence.

Pelosi arrived aboard a US Air Force passenger jet and was greeted on the tarmac at Taipei's international airport by Taiwan's foreign minister and other Taiwanese and American officials. She posed for photos before her motorcade whisked her unseen into the parking garage of a hotel.

Also watch: Attempts of 'independent Taiwan' will be crushed: China reaction after Pelosi lands

Her visit has ratcheted up tension between China and the United States because China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, and it views visits by foreign government officials as recognition of the island's sovereignty.

The Biden administration, and Pelosi, say the United States remains committed to its “one-China policy,” which recognises Beijing but allows informal relations and defense ties with Taipei.

(with PTI and AFP inputs)

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