U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday evening amidst an increasing amount of threats and negative rhetoric coming from China, sparking the possibility of a military confrontation between the United States, China, and Taiwan.

Landing at the Songshan Airport in Taipei, Pelosi was met by Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and the United States’ representative to Taiwan Sandra Oudkirk in a move that will be seen as an escalation by China and a symbolic move by the U.S. in reaffirming their relationship with the state and government of Taiwan, according to Reuters.

“Our congressional delegation's visit to Taiwan honors America's unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan's vibrant democracy,” Pelosi said. “America's solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”

China’s Ministry of Defense has already put its troops on “high alert” in anticipation for the visit, with strong negative rhetoric being thrown by China against the United States due to their continued alliance with Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province and not its own independent state, the Guardian reported.

“The Chinese side has stated on many occasions the serious consequences of visiting Taiwan, but Pelosi knowingly made a malicious provocation to create a crisis,” China’s Ministry of Defense said.

Chinese Su-35 fighter jets were reportedly flying over the Taiwan Strait while warships were parked at the median line of the Strait as a show of force hinting at a potential retaliation against the visit. Taiwan itself has increased its military alertness due to “enemy threats,” and the United States has parked four warships in the east of Taiwan in what it calls a “routine deployment.”

Though any aggressive military action will not likely happen while Pelosi is in Taiwan, some analysts believe that it may lead to increased tensions and more aggressive action between the three countries, al-Jazeera reported.

“An escalation now could be a one-off event, but it may also become part of a sustained pattern of aggression,” analyst Ross Feingold said. “This could be a real strain on Taiwan’s defense resources and the men and women who serve in the military going forward.”

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lands on Taiwan on Tuesday night, despite threats from China of a retaliatory action and an escalation of tensions between the three countries. Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

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