Beijing: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday during a visit to the island that has drawn Beijing’s ire.
Pelosi also visited the Taiwan parliament during the trip, which made her the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years, dpa news agency reported.
Beijing views the self-governing island as a breakaway territory that will one day be reunited with the mainland and warned the US against allowing Pelosi to visit.
In response to her arrival late Tuesday, China launched military exercises in six areas in the waters surrounding Taiwan. They are expected to include long-range live-fire exercises and last through Sunday.
The manouevres are seen as the biggest show of military muscle from Beijing since the 1995 Taiwan Strait crisis, when China fired missiles over Taiwan and the US dispatched two aircraft carrier groups.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador to China, Nicholas Burns, early Wednesday to protest Pelosi’s visit as a “serious provocation and violation” of the one-China principle, state newspaper Global Times reported.
China also sent 21 planes into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Tuesday alone, the Defence Ministry in Taipei said.
Taiwan, which has 23 million inhabitants, has long considered itself independent.