Nancy Pelosi says US will not abandon Taiwan as China protests

3 August 2022, 09:14

n this photo released by the Taiwan Presidential Office, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen arrive for a meeting in Taipei, Taiwan
Taiwan Asia Pelosi. Picture: PA

Ms Pelosi noted that support for Taiwan is bipartisan in Congress and praised the island’s democracy.

US house speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she and other members of Congress visiting Taiwan are showing they will not abandon their commitment to the self-governing island.

“Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy,” she said in a short speech during a meeting with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.

“America’s determination to preserve democracy, here in Taiwan and around the world, remains ironclad.”

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

Ms Pelosi’s trip has heightened US-China tensions more than visits by other members of Congress because of her high-level position as leader of the House of Representatives. She is the first speaker of the house to come to Taiwan in 25 years, since Newt Gingrich in 1997.

Ms Tsai, thanking Ms Pelosi for her decades of support for Taiwan, presented the speaker with a civilian honour, the Order of the Propitious Clouds. She was more pointed about Chinese threats in her remarks than Ms Pelosi was.

“Facing deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down,” Ms Tsai said. “We will firmly uphold our nation’s sovereignty and continue to hold the line of defence for democracy.”

Shortly after Ms Pelosi landed, China announced live-fire drills that would start on Tuesday night and a four-day exercise beginning on Thursday in waters on all sides of the island.

Taiwan Asia Pelosi
Ms Pelosi (left) with Ms Tsai (Taiwan Presidential Office via AP)

China’s air force also flew a relatively large contingent of 21 war planes, including fighter jets, toward Taiwan.

Ms Pelosi noted that support for Taiwan is bipartisan in Congress and praised the island’s democracy.

Her focus has always been the same, she said, going back to her 1991 visit to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, when she and other lawmakers unfurled a small banner supporting democracy, two years after a bloody military crackdown on protesters at the square.

That visit was also about human rights and what she called dangerous technology transfers to “rogue countries”.

Ms Pelosi is visiting a human rights museum in Taipei later on Wednesday before she departs for South Korea, the next stop on an Asia tour that also includes Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.

By Press Association

Latest World News

See more Latest World News

Lamont Dozier

Motown songwriter-producer Lamont Dozier dies aged 81

A military fighter jet flies above the Taiwan Strait

Taiwan warns China drills show ambitions beyond island

A Ukrainian serviceman walks on a street at the frontline in Mykolaiv region, Ukraine

Ukraine: Shelling hits town near Russian-held nuclear plant

South Korea Weather

Nine dead in Seoul after torrential rain turns streets into rivers

The Beluga whale in the Seine river (Sea Shepherd via AP)

Rescuers to move whale stranded in French river to saltwater

Election 2022 Wisconsin Governor

Trump’s home in Florida searched by FBI ‘in White House records probe’

Israel Palestinians

Three dead and dozens injured after arrest operation by Israeli troops

Issey Miyake

Famed Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake dies aged 84

Kenya Election

Voting under way in Kenya’s presidential election

Japan Nagasaki Anniversary

Nagasaki mayor warns of ‘present nuclear crisis’ on anniversary of US bombing

Former President Donald Trump delivers the final remarks during Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, on Saturday, August 6, 2022

Former president Donald Trump says FBI conducting search of Mar-a-Lago estate

Film-Lars von Trier-Parkinson’s

Dancer in the Dark director Lars von Trier diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease

Trident test

Russia halts US inspections of its nuclear arsenals

Ahmaud Arbery Hate Crimes

Father and son get life sentences for hate crime over black jogger’s murder

Russia Ukraine War

Russia and Ukraine trade claims over shelling of nuclear power station again

France Heat

France faces worst drought on record as fourth heatwave of the year spreads