Pelosi says Taiwan visit was worth it despite backlash

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that her visit to Taiwan last week was worthwhile, although it heightened tensions between China, Taipei and the United States.


What do you want to know

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday that her visit to Taiwan last week was worthwhile, though it heightened tensions between China, Taipei and the United States.
  • In her first interview since the trip, Pelosi told NBC’s “Today” show that she refused to allow China to isolate Taiwan.
  • Since his trip, China has held military exercises around Taiwan that have disrupted sea and air traffic and raised considerable concerns about the potential for conflict.
  • Pelosi insisted his visit signaled no change in US policy and seemed to suggest sexism could be at the heart of criticism of China.

In her first interview since the trip, Pelosi told NBC’s “Today” show that it refused to allow China to isolate Taiwan.

“Just because … the Chinese president is acting like a bully, has his own insecurities, doesn’t mean I’m going to make him do the congressman’s agenda,” Pelosi said.

Beijing has warned it will take “strong action” if Pelosi continues his visit. Since his trip, China has held military exercises around Taiwan which disrupted maritime and air traffic and raised considerable concerns about the risk of conflict.

Pelosi dismissed military activity near Taiwan, saying, “What the Chinese are doing is what they usually do.”

Beijing last week announced it was canceling or suspending dialogue with the United States on a range of issues ranging from climate change to military relations and anti-drug efforts in retaliation for Pelosi’s visit, which also included six other House Democrats.

Asked by Savannah Guthrie if she was concerned the visit would disrupt President Joe Biden’s efforts to work with China on issues such as tackling climate change, Pelosi said, “What dialogue did you know they had on the climate ? They had stopped a lot of things.

Pelosi appears frustrated with the controversy surrounding her trip, pointing out that she has bipartisan support.

“Let’s just say it’s not something that should divide us.”

The Speaker of the House also seemed to suggest that sexism could be at the heart of criticism of China. She noted that a bipartisan Senate delegation including Sen. Bob Menendez, DN.Y., visited Taiwan in April.

“Why would they decide on my trip that it would be any different?” said Pelosi. “It’s only a matter of months. And even a few weeks ago, before we left, a Republican senator visited Taiwan. Again, there is something wrong with this image.

“And I usually take the barbs off men who think it’s this or that, but a woman goes and…” Pelosi said before moving quickly to praise Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. .

Pelosi insisted his visit signaled no change in US policy.

“We always support the ‘One China’ policy,” Pelosi said. “We’re going there to recognize that the status quo is our policy. There’s nothing disruptive about that.”

The Speaker of the House said the visit might have seemed symbolic to some, “but it was very important for us to listen to the people of the region about our full program”.

The authoritarian Chinese Communist Party regards democratic and self-governing Taiwan as its own territory, to be annexed by force if necessary, and regularly announces this threat by holding military exercises and flying warplanes into the identification zone of Taiwan air defense or across the center line of the 100 mile wide Taiwan Strait.

Under the “One China” policy, the United States recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate government of China, but has never accepted the Chinese Communist Party’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan.

Although the parties do not have formal diplomatic relations, the United States is Taiwan’s main provider of foreign defense aid and political support, reflecting its desire to limit China’s growing influence and maintain a strong American presence in the Western Pacific.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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