House Speaker Nancy Pelosi upheld her decision to visit Taiwan last week, saying “it was worth it,” despite China’s actions since she left the island.
Since Pelosi’s divisive trip, China has withdrawn from climate talks and expanded threatening military exercises around Taiwan, disrupting shipping and air traffic and raising fears of conflict in a vital trade region.
Taiwan warned Tuesday that Chinese military drills are more than just a dress rehearsal for an invasion of the self-governing island, but also reflect Beijing’s ambitions to control large swaths of the western Pacific, as Taipei conducted its own drills to demonstrate its readiness to defend itself.
Pelosi, who visited the island with a congressional delegation, said on NBC’s “Today” show that China cannot be allowed to isolate Taiwan.
“We must not allow China’s government to isolate Taiwan. They may tell them that they cannot go to the World Health Organization, but they will not tell them who can go to Taiwan “said the House Speaker.
“Yes, it was worthwhile. And the Chinese are doing what they always do.”
Despite China’s response, a bipartisan group of senators supports Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
Pelosi also stated that her visit had “overwhelming bipartisan support.” On Sunday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers expressed support for Pelosi’s trip.
When asked whether a “symbolic trip, as important as it may have been,” overlooks the administration’s other objectives, Pelosi responded that the visit was “substantial for us to hear the people in the region about our full agenda.”
When a bipartisan congressional visit to Taiwan in April was ignored, Pelosi questioned what made her trip unique.
China has threatened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with ‘consequences’ if she visits Taiwan.
While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in Singapore on Monday, Chinese officials issued new and stern warnings against her visiting Taiwan.
Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, warned in a tweet on Monday that “The US government must keep its promises in both word and deed. Otherwise, the United States government must accept responsibility and bear the consequences of any act “that China regards as a violation of its agreements with the United States
According to Reuters, Chinese official Zhao Lijian stated earlier Monday that the Chinese military will “not sit idly by” if Pelosi visits Taiwan.
China considers the Taiwan as a part of its territory, despite Taiwan’s claim to independence. The United States has attempted to support Taiwan without upsetting Beijing.
The visit comes at a time when the United States is sending new weapons to the island to aid in its defense against China.
Pelosi met with officials in Singapore on Monday to discuss ways to strengthen US economic engagement through projects such as the Indo-Pacific Financial Framework.
President Joe Biden has stated that the Pentagon does not believe Pelosi should visit Taiwan, but administration officials have repeatedly stated that the decision is hers because she is the leader of an independent branch of government.
On Sunday, her office confirmed Pelosi’s Asia itinerary, which includes stops in Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan. According to the itinerary, the trip will focus on “mutual security, economic partnership, and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region.”