According to Reuters, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday despite strong opposition from the Chinese regime, saying America’s solidarity with the Taiwanese people is more important today than ever.
Pelosi said shortly after her arrival, “Our congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy.”
It was believed that Pelosi was aboard the U.S. Air Force aircraft, SPAR19. The flight boarded from Malaysia with no listed destination on Tuesday. The destination was updated to Taipei as the plane passed the Philippines.
Over 300,000 people tracked Pelosi’s flight via Flightradar24, a popular aircraft-tracking website. As many people monitored the flight, the website could not handle huge traffic on its servers, causing the website to be temporarily unavailable.
Flightradar24 announced on its official Twitter, “Because of unprecedented sustained tracking interest in SPAR19, Flightradar24 services are under extremely heavy load. Some users may currently experience issues accessing the site, our teams are working on restoring full functionality to all users as quickly as possible.”
The tracking map also showed the airplane seemed to avoid flying over the South China Sea, where China claims most of the maritime territory. China also ramped up its military activity in the area before the visit.
Pelosi’s visit is the U.S. highest-ranking official to the island in 25 years since former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s visit in 1997.
The Chinese regime has been lousy before the trip. Last week, the former editor-in-chief of the state-controlled mouthpiece Global Times, Hu Xijin, threatened to shoot down aircraft carrying Pelosi. On Monday, China said that its military “not sit idly by” if Pelosi visited Taiwan.
Last week, during a phone conversation between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden, Xi warned Biden over the Taiwan issue that “playing with fire will set you on fire.”
According to Reuters, right after Pelosi set foot on the islands, China’s defense ministry announced on Tuesday night that its military has been put on high alert and launched “targeted military operations” in response to Pelosi’s visit.
China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command also stated that it would carry out joint military operations near Taiwan from Tuesday night.
The Chinese regime claims that Taiwan is a part of its territory and threatens to unify the island by force if necessary. Taiwan has been self-ruled since 1949 and has never been under control of the Chinese communist regime.