Nancy Pelosi Says Taiwan Trip ‘Doesn’t Contradict’ Longstanding US Policy | world news
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said shortly after landing in Taiwan on Tuesday that her visit, marking the highest-level visit by a U.S. official in more than two decades, was a sign of the “America’s unwavering” commitment to supporting the island nation.
Pelosi has defied a series of increasingly harsh warnings and threats from China that have sent tensions between the world’s two superpowers skyrocketing.
Pelosi, second in office, is the most high-profile US lawmaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years and Beijing has made it clear it views his presence as a major provocation, putting the region on edge.
“Our delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy,” Pelosi tweeted.
“Our discussions with Taiwanese leaders reaffirm our support for our partner and promote our common interests, including the promotion of a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” she added.
“America’s solidarity with Taiwan’s 23 million people is more important than ever today as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy,” the House Speaker continued. in a thread, before stressing that his delegation’s visit “in no way contradicts the long tradition of United States policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, the joint U.S.-China communiqués and the six assurances.
China called the US actions in Taiwan “extremely dangerous”. “The United States…constantly distorts, obscures and crowds out the ‘One China’ principle,” Beijing’s foreign ministry said in a statement after Pelosi’s plane landed in Taiwan. “These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish.”
Pelosi is currently touring Asia and although neither she nor her office has confirmed the visit to Taipei, several US and Taiwanese media outlets have reported that it is on the cards – sparking days of ire from Beijing.
The People’s Liberation Army said it was on “high alert” and would “launch a series of targeted military actions in response” to the visit.
“Those who play with fire will perish by it,” the Beijing Foreign Ministry added.
China considers democratic and self-governing Taiwan its territory and has vowed to take the island one day, by force if necessary.
It attempts to keep Taiwan isolated on the world stage and opposes countries having official trade with Taipei.
During a call with US President Joe Biden last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Washington against “playing with fire” in Taiwan.
While the Biden administration is reportedly opposed to a shutdown in Taiwan, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Pelosi has the right to go where she wants.
“There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit in line with long-standing US policies into some kind of crisis,” he told reporters.
(With agency contributions)