Speaker of the US House of Representatives arrives in Taiwan

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Speaker of the US House of Representatives arrived in Taiwan

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the highest U.S. official to visit Taiwan since her predecessor Newt Gingrich in 1997.

Despite threats from Chinese authorities, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has arrived in Taiwan. The senior US official's plane landed at Taiwan-Taoyuan Airport in Tapei around 10:45 p.m. local time.

Ms Pelosi is expected to spend the night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, before taking part in meetings on Wednesday morning. Taiwanese newspaper Liberty Times quoted unnamed sources as saying Ms. Pelosi would meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen the following day before leaving again in the afternoon.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the highest U.S. official to visit Taiwan since her predecessor Newt Gingrich in 1997.

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China once again warned the United States against such a visit on Tuesday, saying Washington would bear the blame.

The United States will certainly be responsible [for the consequences] and will have to pay the price for their attack on China's sovereignty and security, Chinese diplomacy spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.

Sign of Chinese anger, several military maneuvers were carried out by the Chinese army in the Taiwan Strait. Fighter jets and ships were seen patrolling the area.

In addition to threats and shows of force, the Chinese government expressed its displeasure through economic means on Monday night, banning the import of 3,000 Taiwanese food items and more than 100 food manufacturers.

Beijing views Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified, by force if necessary, and has repeatedly warned Washington against a visit by Nancy Pelosi.

More details to follow.

With information from Agence France-Presse

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