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Nancy Pelosi's Flight To Taiwan Was Tracked By 16 Million People

Nancy Pelosi's Flight To Taiwan Was Tracked By 16 Million People

Millions of people have been keeping track of Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.

Over 16 million people tracked Nancy Pelosi's flight to Taiwan as she became the highest profile US politician to visit the country in 25 years.

More than 700,000 people watched the flight on Flightradar24, which had to set up an online waiting room to avoid crashing the site.

It's the popular site's most-tracked flight of all time, and others keeping tabs on Pelosi's visit amounted to a gargantuan audience for the visit.

On top of those watching on Flightradar24, there were also more than 16 million people tracking the flight on Chinese social media site Weibo.

Speaker of the House Pelosi says her visit is part of a broader mission at a time when 'the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy', a pointed statement considering China and Taiwan fit those labels, Associated Press reports.

Over 16 million people were tracking Nancy Pelosi's flight into Taiwan.
CTK/Alamy Stock Photo

Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is controversial because China claims the island as its own, seeing it as a rogue territory which will eventually be returned to Beijing's control, by force if necessary.

Her visit to the nation and her commitment that the US 'must stand by Taiwan' obstructs this Chinese goal, an invasion that risks bringing them into conflict with the US is not a risk China has thus far been willing to take.

At present only 13 countries and the Vatican recognise Taiwan as a sovereign nation, the US is not among them.

Washington instead officially recognises the current Chinese government, which pursues a 'one China' policy that states they're the only legitimate government and that Taiwan is part of China rather than a separate country.

However, US president Joe Biden has said they would defend the island country in the event of an invasion. It's a precarious and complicated situation, with the US officially recognising the Beijing government but providing support to Taiwan that helps obstruct the 'one China' policy.

Nancy Pelosi met Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen and vice president Lai Ching-te.
ROC President Office/Alamy Stock Photo

Taiwan is home to the government of the original Republic of China, which fled the mainland after Mao Zedong's communists won the civil war in 1949.

Chinese premier Xi Jinping has said 'reunification' with Taiwan was necessary and did not rule out using force to achieve this.

While Pelosi has visited Taiwan, the US senate is debating expanding ties with Taiwan.

The Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 has bipartisan support and would see $6.5 billion in military funding for Taiwan over the next four years, and designate the country as a 'major non-NATO ally', the Washington Post reports.

In retaliation to Pelosi's visit, China ordered a series of military exercises, which Taiwan's defence ministry says has encroached on their territory and amounts to a blockade of the island nation.

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Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press Inc/Alamy Stock Photo/Flightradar

Topics: China, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, US News, World News, Politics