Pelosi says U.S. won’t give up on Taiwan despite warnings from China

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who met with Taiwanese leaders despite warnings from China, said Wednesday that she and other members of Congress visiting group Show that they will not abandon their commitment to the self-governing island.

“The world today faces a choice between democracy and authoritarianism,” she said in a brief remarks at a meeting with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. “America’s resolve to uphold democracy in Taiwan and around the world remains unwavering.”

China, which claims Taiwan as its territory and opposes any contact by Taiwanese officials with foreign governments, announced multiple military exercises in Taiwan and issued a series of stern statements after the delegation landed in the Taiwanese capital Taipei on Tuesday night.

Taiwan condemned the planned action.

“Such an act is tantamount to an air and sea blockade of Taiwan … a serious violation of our country’s territorial sovereignty,” Capt. Yu Jianchang said at the Defense Ministry’s news conference Wednesday morning.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen meet in Taipei, Taiwan, on Wednesday. Pelosi is the first speaker to come to Taiwan in 25 years.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen meet in Taipei, Taiwan, on Wednesday. Pelosi is the first speaker to come to Taiwan in 25 years.

Taiwan Presidential Office via The Associated Press

Pelosi’s itinerary U.S.-China tensions intensify Because of her senior position as House leader, she has made more visits than other members of Congress.She is the first speaker to come to Taiwan in 25 years. Newt Gingrich in 1997.

Tsai Ing-wen thanked Pelosi for her decades of support for Taiwan and awarded the speaker the “Order of Lucky Clouds”.

“Taiwan will not back down in the face of a deliberately intensified military threat,” Tsai Ing-wen said. “We will firmly defend our country’s sovereignty and continue to hold the line of defense of democracy.”

“The military exercise is an unnecessary response,” Tsai Ing-wen later said at a news conference.

Shortly after Pelosi’s landing, China announced the live-fire drills, which reportedly began on Tuesday night, and began on Thursday for a four-day exercise in waters off the island’s four sides.

The Chinese Air Force also flew a relatively large contingent of 21 fighter jets, including fighter jets, to Taiwan.

Pelosi responded to Beijing’s threats, saying she wanted to be clear that “while China is preventing Taiwan from participating in certain meetings, they understand that they will not be preventing people from coming to Taiwan to show friendship and support.”

Pelosi noted that Congress has bipartisan support for Taiwan and praised Taiwan’s democracy. She did not say the United States would defend Taiwan militarily, stressing that Congress is “committed to Taiwan’s security so that Taiwan can most effectively defend itself.”

She said her focus has remained the same, dating back to her visit to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1991, when she and other lawmakers unfurled a small pro-democracy banner two years after a bloody crackdown on protesters in the square. .

That visit also touched on human rights and what she described as the transfer of dangerous technology to “rogue states.”

Later Wednesday, Pelosi will visit a human rights museum in Taipei, which details the island’s martial law-era history, before departing for South Korea, with Singapore, Malaysia and Japan on her next Asian tour.

Pelosi, who led the visit along with five other members of Congress, met with representatives of Taiwan’s legislature earlier Wednesday.

“Ms. Speaker’s fearless visit to Taiwan is the strongest defense for safeguarding human rights and consolidating the values ​​of democracy and freedom,” said Tsai Chi-chang, deputy speaker of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, at the welcoming ceremony.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has tried to reduce traffic, insisting that long-standing U.S. “One China Policy” It recognizes Beijing but allows informal and defense ties with Taipei.

Pelosi said her delegation had “weight” and included House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks and House Intelligence Committee’s Raja Krishnamurthy.

She also mentioned Rep. Susan Delbene, who Pelosi said was instrumental in passing a $280 billion bill Aims to Promote U.S. Manufacturing And research on semiconductor chips – an industry dominated by Taiwan and vital to modern electronics.

Representatives Andy Kim and Mark Takano were also on the delegation.

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