Nancy Pelosi leaves Taiwan after controversial visit
After a provocative brief visit to Taiwan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has left the country.
During the high-voltage visit 25 years from now, Pelosi met Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei, despite harsh warnings from China.
“Our delegation came to Taiwan to make it absolutely clear that we will not abandon Taiwan,” Pelosi told Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
“Now more than ever, America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial, and that is the message we bring here today.”
She hailed Taiwan as an island of resilience and said the US commitment to democracy there is adamant.
Pelosi arrived late Tuesday with a congressional delegation for an unannounced visit, defying repeated warnings from China, which she said shows the US’s unwavering commitment to Taiwan’s democracy.
Speaking before the House, Pelosi said new US legislation aimed at boosting America’s chip industry to compete with China “presents a greater opportunity for US-Taiwan economic cooperation.”
“Thank you for your leadership. We want the world to recognize that,” Pelosi told Tsai, who suspects Beijing of pushing for formal independence – a red line for China.
The house speaker later spoke to activists at a closed meeting at the National Human Rights Museum in New Taipei City on Wednesday afternoon. Activists included Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing Kee (who fled to Taiwan after being arrested by China in 2019), Taiwanese activist Lee Ming-che (who was arrested in mainland China in 2017 and released this year) and the former protester at the Tiananmen Square, Wuer Kaixi.
The US spokesman’s trip, which is not endorsed by President Biden, is the first by such a senior US official in 25 years.
In a comment defending the visit as an act of diplomacy, she called on Americans to remember their commitment to supporting democracy in Taiwan and around the world.
The last speaker of the US House of Representatives to go to Taiwan in 1997 was Newt Gingrich. But Pelosi’s visit comes amid the sharply deteriorating China-US relationship, and China has emerged as a far more powerful economic, military and geopolitical force over the past quarter century.
China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has never refrained from using force to take it under its control. The United States warned China not to use the visit as a pretext for military action against Taiwan.
In retaliation, Chinese Customs announced a suspension of imports of citrus fruit, chilled white striped hairtail and frozen horse mackerel from Taiwan, while the Ministry of Commerce banned the export of natural sand to Taiwan.