China cannot stop US officials from visiting Taiwan, says Nancy Pelosi

5 August 2022, 09:54

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, centre, with a congressional delegation Raja Krishnamoorthi, left, and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Gregory Meeks, speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo on Friday, August 5, 2022
Japan Asia Pelosi. Picture: PA

Beijing called her visit to the island a provocation and on Thursday began military drills.

US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that China will not isolate Taiwan by preventing American officials from travelling there.

She made the remarks in Tokyo during the final leg of an Asia tour highlighted by a visit to Taiwan that infuriated China.

Hours later, Chinese officials announced unspecified sanctions on Ms Pelosi, with the foreign ministry in Beijing saying the US house speaker had disregarded China’s concerns and resolute opposition to her visit to the island.

The Chinese have tried to isolate Taiwan, Ms Pelosi said, including most recently by preventing it from joining the World Health Organisation.

“They may try to keep Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us to travel there,” she said.

Ms Pelosi said her trip to Taiwan was not intended to change the status quo for the island but to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait.

She also praised Taiwan’s democracy, including its progress in diversity and success in technology and business, and criticised China’s violations of trade agreements, proliferation of weapons and human rights problems.

Ms Pelosi, the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years, said on Wednesday in Taipei that the US commitment to democracy in the self-governing island and elsewhere “remains ironclad”.

Taiwan Asia Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi leaving Taiwan on Wednesday (Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs/AP)

Ms Pelosi and five other members of Congress arrived in Tokyo late on Thursday after visiting Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.

China, which claims Taiwan and has threatened to annex it by force if necessary, called her visit to the island a provocation and on Thursday began military drills, including missile firing, in six zones surrounding Taiwan.

Five of the missiles fired by China landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone off Hateruma, an island far south of Japan’s main islands, Japanese defence minister Nobuo Kishi said.

South Korea Asia Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi with South Korean National Assembly speaker Kim Jin Pyo (Kim Min-Hee/AP)

He said Japan protested the missile landings to China as “serious threats to Japan’s national security and the safety of the Japanese people”.

Japan’s defence ministry also speculated that four missiles flew over Taipei, the capital city, crossing the mainland, according to a statement its embassy in Washington DC posted on Twitter.

Taiwan’s Defence Ministry did not deny the claim, saying that the flight path was “outside the atmosphere and is not harmful to the vast area on the ground it flies over”.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Author Salman Rushdie

Author Salman Rushdie attacked on lecture stage in New York

Polluted River

‘Huge’ amounts of chemical waste dumped into river in Poland

Polio NYC

Polio detected in NYC’s sewage, suggesting virus circulating

Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage

Salman Rushdie stabbed in the neck while on stage at an event in New York State

Europe Drought

European drought dries up rivers and shrivels crops

Johnson Johnson-Baby Powder

Johnson & Johnson to end sales of baby powder with talc globally next year

Huge fires have been ravaging parts of southern France

Seven European countries send help to battle ‘monster’ wildfire ravaging southern France

Firefighters tackling a wildfire near Saint-Magne, south of Bordeaux, south-western France (SDIS 33 via AP)

European firefighters join battle to stop French wildfires

South Korea UN

UN chief affirms support for denuclearised North Korea

South Korea Samsung

South Korea to pardon Samsung heir following corruption scandal

Hawaii Wildfire

Large wildfire burning amid drought on Hawaii’s Big Island

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California

Getty Museum in LA to return illegally exported art to Italy

FBI Office Threat

Suspect who tried to breach FBI office dies in stand-off

Ukraine Russia Nuclear Plant Explainer

UN demands end to military activity at Ukraine nuclear plant

Capitol Riot White Supremacist

Ex-police officer gets seven years in prison over Washington Capitol riot

Breonna Taylor Federal Charge

Justice Department seeks to unseal search warrant of Trump home