TE24 Business Desk:
KUALA LUMPUR – A US Air Force plane carrying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has embarked on the final leg of its journey from Malaysia to Taiwan after a long journey around the South China Sea.
Pelosi has not confirmed whether she has visited the autonomous island Beijing claims as her own, but a source said she is expected to arrive in Taiwan’s capital, Taipei, late Tuesday.
Tuesday was the most tracked flight on tracking sites and was last seen north of the Philippines according to Flightradar24 Since last week, China’s People’s Liberation Army has conducted various exercises including live-fire drills in the South China Sea, Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea to demonstrate China’s military might.
The visit to Taiwan by Pelosi, who is second in line for US presidential succession and a longtime critic of China, will come amid strained relations between Washington and Beijing.
As of 1354 GMT, SPAR19 was about 500 km (310 miles) southeast of Taipei on a journey that has so far lasted more than five hours, according to Flightradar24, a flight tracked by 300,000 people. A typical flight from Kuala Lumpur to Taiwan’s capital Taipei will cross the South China Sea, with a typical flight time of less than five hours.
Reporting by Ibrahim Harris and Rosanna Latif in Kuala Lumpur and Ryan Wu in Beijing; Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; Editing by Martin Petty, William Maclean, Will Dunham and Frank Jack Daniel.
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