The US Air Force plane, believed to be carrying Ms. Pelosi out of Malaysia today, has a record-breaking number of followers on the flightradar 24 website.
Flight SPAR19, believed to be carrying US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, left Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at 3:42 pm (Hanoi time 14:42) today, according to Flightradar24, a website specializing in tracking flight information. Destination information is not published.
The flight attracted the attention of Flightradar24 users, with more than 290,000 followers at 16:30 Hanoi time, the most in the world today. Follow Digital Newsthis is also the most tracked flight on Flightradar24 ever, far exceeding the number of about 10,000 set by a Boeing RC-135W in March.
According to Taiwanese media, Ms. Pelosi is expected to arrive at Taipei Songshan Airport at 22:20 (21:20 Hanoi time) today. The head of Taiwan’s executive branch, To Trinhchang, said the island “warmly welcomes” foreign guests, “will make the most suitable arrangements” and respects their plans.
Ms. Pelosi is on a visit to Asia with 4 stops listed by the Office of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives on July 31 as Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea, without mentioning Taiwan.
If Ms. Pelosi comes to Taiwan, it will be the first visit by a US House of Representatives speaker to the island in 25 years. Pelosi will also be the highest-ranking US lawmaker to visit Taiwan since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich visited in 1997.
Taiwan has been a hot issue in US-China bilateral relations in recent years. China has always considered Taiwan as a province awaiting reunification and declared its readiness to use force if necessary. The US is committed to respecting the “One China” principle, but continues to maintain relations with Taiwan and provide the island with modern weapons.
China’s Foreign Ministry said today that the scenario of Ms. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is a “reckless and provocative behavior” and Washington will pay the price. A spokesman for the agency said the two sides are maintaining communication at different levels, expressing hope that US officials are aware of the importance, sensitivity and danger of this issue. Earlier, Beijing stressed that the military “will not sit idly by” if Ms. Pelosi visits Taiwan.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on August 1 called on China to act responsibly and “not escalate tensions” should the visit take place.
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