Until recently, it was unclear whether Pelosi would actually visit Taiwan. This is another reason why millions of people have tracked their flight via the flight observation service. So many that the site threatened to crash.

The flight of US top politician Nancy Pelosi from Malaysia to Taiwan, accompanied by Chinese threats, set a record for the flight monitoring service Flightradar24. More than 708,000 people watched the landing of flight SPAR19 on Tuesday evening (local time) in Taipei in real time, more than any other flight before, the Swedish Internet service said on Wednesday night.

Site infrastructure in trouble

2.92 million people followed at least part of the flight on its seven-hour route from Kuala Lumpur to Taipei. According to the service, Pelosi’s flight avoided the direct route over the South China Sea. Instead, the machine first flew east over Indonesia and then past the Philippines to the north. On the website of the internet service, the route of the flight could be followed in real time on a map. The large rush temporarily caused difficulties for the site’s infrastructure, Flightradar24 said.

The 82-year-old leader of the US House of Representatives left open until recently whether she would also visit the democratic island republic of Taiwan off the coast of China between visits to Malaysia and South Korea. China had threatened countermeasures and promised military action. Shortly before Pelosi’s arrival, Chinese warplanes flew over the Taiwan Strait sea lane. Beijing sees Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic and strictly rejects official contacts from other countries to Taipei.