Tensions are high across the region as the plane expected to be carrying US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi touched down in Taiwan on Tuesday, with Chinese warplanes flying close to the median line of the sensitive Taiwan Strait.
The US Air Force plane carrying Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is now below 18,000 feet in altitude, and is on final approach to Tapei, Taiwan, in direct vioolation of Beijing’s order that she not enter.
Plane is now physically over land, no longer over Pacific Ocean.
Altitude 16,300 feet as of 10:32 AM eastern US time.
As of 10:38 AM Pelosi plane now at 8300 feet altitude. China’s Global Times newspaper says Chinese Air Force fighter jets moving across Taiwan Strait to intercept.
10:39 AM EDT — Plane altitude 6400 feet.
10:40 AM 5600 feet.
Pelosi’s plane safely landed and Pelosi has deplaned.
Chinese warships and aircraft “squeezed” the median line on Tuesday morning, an unusual move described by one Reuters source as “very provocative”.
Ms Pelosi arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday morning for the second leg of her Asia tour, and the US military plane carrying the House Speaker and the Congressional delegation left that country and landed in Taipei at Taiwan Songshan Airport just before 11pm local time.
China has repeatedly issued warnings over Ms Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, with multiple media reports saying Ms Pelosi and five other House members for a Congressional delegation will stay Tuesday night in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei.
Ms Pelosi left the US on Sunday and began her visit in Singapore. Her office has said she will also travel to South Korea and Japan.
The visit to Taiwan is the most senior by a US politician since then-House speaker Newt Gingrich went there in 1997.
LIVE: House speaker Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taipei, despite China warning: