During a historic trip to Taiwan Wednesday, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her visit was intended to make it "unequivocally clear" that the United States would "not abandon" the democratically governed island.
Pelosi left Taiwan on Wednesday, en route to South Korea's capital Seoul, after becoming the first sitting US House Speaker in 25 years to visit the self-governing island.
Pelosi's praise of the island's commitment to democracy was a significant show of support for Taipei, coming just hours after China threatened to retaliate to her presence with a series of military exercises the Taiwanese Defense Ministry likened to a "maritime and aerial blockade."
Beijing had repeatedly warned of dire consequences should the trip move forward -- even going as far as to warn US President Joe Biden that those who played with fire would "perish" by it.
But the warnings from Beijing -- and even a suggestion by Biden himself that the US military thought the trip was "not a good idea" -- did not dissuade Pelosi, 82, from flying into the island alongside a congressional delegation on Tuesday and meeting with its leading officials.
"We are proud of our enduring friendship," said Pelosi, speaking alongside Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei the morning after her arrival.
Our live coverage of Pelosi's visit is ending. Read the full story here.