Bomb threat hits airport where Pelosi expected — Analysis
Local media reports that officials have increased security at Taoyuan International Airport in preparation for Nancy Pelosi’s possible visit.
Taiwan’s Taoyuan International Airport reportedly beefed up its security measures on Tuesday after it received a bomb threat ahead of the expected visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to news outlet Focus Taiwan.
On Tuesday morning, airport officials received a threat letter. The letter claimed that three bombs had already been placed on the property of the airport. This was to block Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island. Officials reached out to the Aviation Police Bureau and requested a special team be assigned to the airport in order for them tighten security measures and improve flight safety.
Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan to meet President TsaiIng-wen on Tuesday. Pelosi is on an Asian tour and visited Singapore Monday. She is also expected to meet with high-ranking officials in South Korea, Japan and Malaysia. Before the tour, Taiwan was not included on her official itinerary.
China has repeatedly warned that Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan would be seen by Beijing as a “gross interference in China’s internal affairs” and the country’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian has stated that “the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by.”
An unidentified Taiwanese official as well as a US official reportedly confirmed to CNN Monday that Pelosi would indeed travel to the island. This would be the first trip by a House Speaker to the island since 1995.
Although the White House is yet to confirm that she will be visiting Taipei in April, Secretary of State Antony Blinken insists that it will happen. “decision is entirely the Speaker’s” and that the administration doesn’t know what Pelosi intends to do.
Taiwan (officially called the Republic of China) has been autonomous since 1949 but was never declared independent by Beijing.
Although China has recognised Beijing as its sole legitimate authority since 1979, the US continues to have strong, unofficial relationships with the island. They sell state-of-the art weapons to Taipei, and support the Chinese push for sovereignity, much to the dismay of Chinese authorities.
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