TAIPEI, Taiwan. Media and crowds gathered at the Taipei airport on Tuesday to watch the arrival of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the highest-level US official to have visited Taiwan in 25 years.
Huang Chao-yuan, a 53-year-old business owner, watched the grounds near Songshan Airport to watch Ms. Songshan Pelosi’s plane land, calling the speaker’s visit a “historic moment.”
“I am very excited about her visit today because it is an example that shows that the United States does not need to negotiate with the CCP, they can come here if they want, and anyone invited by Taiwan can come here,” Ms. Taiwan said. . Huang, using the abbreviation of the Chinese Communist Party. “This incident demonstrates the independence of Taiwan.”
Henry Chang, 32, videographer who was at the airport to witness Ms. Landing Pelosi, admired the novelty of meeting with such a high-ranking American lawmaker.
“It was like catching a rare Pokémon,” he said.
He said that he was not worried that the visit could lead to a military conflict. “I feel like there simply couldn’t be a war — everyone will live their own lives,” he said.
Video provided by Tibetan activist Tashi Tsering shows people gathering Tuesday night outside the Grand Hyatt Taipei hotel where Ms. K was expected to spend the night. Some of them held banners that read, “Taiwan public salutes US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” “Taiwan helps,” and “Taiwan ≠ China.”
Outside the hotel, several dozen pro-unification with China people protested against the lady. Pelosi’s visit: Some demanded that she “get out of Taiwan” and some held signs denouncing her.
“It makes me bitter when I see Pelosi land,” said one person in the crowd, Sam Lin, owner of a recycling company. “It’s sad to see tensions rising across the strait, but I’m also happy to see our reunification with China becoming more and more achievable.”
mr. Lin, 50, added: “I don’t want war, but current cross-strait relations have reached a different stage.”
In contrast to the protest, in the capital’s central business district, Taipei 101 – once the world’s tallest building and a major landmark on the city’s skyline – was lit up with messages welcoming Ms. Pelosi.
In Taiwan, many are accustomed to threats from China, which claims the island as its territory. The standoff between Washington and Beijing over the speaker’s trip attracted muted attention until Tuesday. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen remains silent days before Ms. Pelosi’s arrival, although political advisers close to her have said they welcome visits from US officials.
As a sign of how many in Taiwan are tired of threats from ChinaAlexander Huang, a senior official with the China-friendly Kuomintang, said he welcomed Ms. Pelosi’s visit and that she had a “busy” schedule ahead of her stay on the island.
During his visit, Mr. Pelosi will visit the Taiwan Legislative Assembly and meet with President Tsai Ing-wen, according to a Taiwanese lawmaker and a local official. She also plans to attend a banquet at a Taipei guest house and visit the National Museum of Human Rights.
mr. Huang said the downplayed approach to the visit reflects planning to avoid aggravating an already tense situation with China.
“They did not make any statements to the outside world, trying not to irritate the other side, and they did everything possible to ensure that the situation in the Taiwan Strait was not too tense,” he said.
He said he was most concerned about mainland China’s military response, specifically what China might do after Ms. Q. Pelosi leaves. He said it was possible that China would take steps to further isolate Taiwan internationally. In recent years, China has poached several countries to recognize Taiwan as a country and cut it off from major international organizations such as the World Health Organization.
On Tuesday, the Taiwanese military said it would step up its military alert in anticipation of a possible Chinese response.