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Pelosi leaves Taiwan, but fallout from provocative trip continues

SPEAKER of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi arrived in South Korea today but the fallout from her provocative and dangerous visit to Taiwan continued. 

The US official is to meet Republic of Korea national assembly chairman Kim Jin Pyo on Thursday, but her visit will be overshadowed by her inflammatory stop in Taiwan. 

Ms Pelosi, a vehement opponent of China, claimed to support Taiwanese sovereignty and badged her trip to the island as one that upholds the principles of democracy. 

But this has been dismissed as hypocrisy given the US’s long history of backing reactionary regimes in Taiwan and using it as a post from which to attack China and undermine its sovereignty.  

It was ruled under martial law from 1949 until 1992 with a a period known as “the White Terror” seen as a form of fascism under which as many as 28,000 civilians were killed and 140,000 jailed. 

Taiwan was the only province of China to remain under the control of Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist Party after the socialist revolution swept the country in 1949.

In 1950, the US navy’s seventh fleet prevented the communists carrying the revolution across the Taiwan Strait and the island has been self-governing ever since.

But it remains an integral part of China, as is recognised by most of the international community, including the US.

Ms Pelosi left this afternoon, but it is clearly not the end of matters, with her visit drawing an angry response from China and condemnation from the international community. 

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said: “Those who play with fire will not come to a good end, and those who offend China will be punished.

“The United States is violating China’s sovereignty under the guise of so-called democracy.”

Washington attempted to distance itself from Ms Pelosi’s trip, insisting it was a personal decision. 

But Ms Pelosi received support from her political opponents, including Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell who said it was “consistent with the United States’s One China policy to which we are committed.”

Despite its public statements, Washington has flooded Taiwan with weapons, sent warships to regional waters and stationed special operations forces there on covert training exercises. 

China announced the suspension of a number of exports to Taiwan today including sand, a crucial component for the island’s silicon chip manufacturing industry. 

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