US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accompanied by a congressional delegation, has arrived in Malaysia as part of her official visit to four Asian countries.
The special aircraft carrying Pelosi and her entourage touched down at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Subang at 10.33am amid tight security.
Pelosi and her delegation were greeted by Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon. Also present was US ambassador to Malaysia Brian D McFeeters.
This is Pelosi's maiden visit to Malaysia with Gregory Meeks, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also in the delegation list. Pelosi is number three in the line of US presidential succession and the only woman who has served as the speaker of the US House.
Kuala Lumpur is Pelosi’s second stop after Singapore on Monday, after which she will head to South Korea and Japan with her tour closely watched to see if Taiwan is also in her itinerary.
While in Malaysia, she is expected to pay a courtesy call on Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun at the Parliament building at noon before adjourning for a luncheon meet with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
"The trip will focus on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region," said an earlier press release from Pelosi’s office.
However, Pelosi’s office did not mention whether the speaker would visit Taiwan amid intense speculation since late Monday that she might make a stop over in the island, a move that is set to draw China’s wrath as it views visits by US officials to Taiwan as an encouraging signal to the pro-independence camp in the island.
The Chinese foreign ministry had said that in the event of Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, Beijing would take decisive measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. It said the US would be fully responsible for all consequences resulting from the visit.
The US established diplomatic ties with Malaysia in 1957 following Malaysia's independence from Britain.
Washington and Kuala Lumpur elevated bilateral relations to a comprehensive partnership in April 2014.