House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) controversial visit to Taiwan lasted less than a day but was not without consequences, as it is expected to continue eliciting strong reactions from China long after her trip.
China had sent increasingly strong warnings against Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, reiterating its “One China” policy identifying itself as the sole and legitimate government of both the mainland and the island. She
In her acceptance speech, Pelosi made sure to emphasize the U.S.’ commitment to Taiwan’s democracy, saying she wanted to make it “unequivocally clear” that the U.S. would “not abandon” Taiwan.
“Three years ago, with the Taiwan Relations Act, America made a bedrock promise to always stand with Taiwan. And on this strong foundation, we have built a thriving partnership, founded in our shared values of self-government and self-determination, focused on our mutual security interest in the region and across the world.”
“Taiwan has been an island of resilience,” she continued. “Now more than ever, America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial, and that is the message we’re bringing here today.”
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
In her conclusion, Pelosi referenced the U.S. and China’s opposing ideals, and the world’s most powerful economy’s dedication to defend Taiwan, which shares its ideals.
“Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy. America’s determination to preserve democracy, here in Taiwan, and around the world, remains ironclad.”
China responded on Wednesday by launching an unprecedented number of planes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait as well as sending 27 warplanes into the island’s defense identification zone.
Earlier on Monday, China also banned thousands of Taiwanese companies from exporting their products to the mainland, a trend that is likely to continue and expand.
Pelosi claimed during her meeting with Tsai that she was not sure why China made such a “big fuss” about her trip, adding that the communist country did not say anything “when the men came.”
The House speaker left Taiwan on Wednesday afternoon for Seoul, where she is currently due to meet with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo to discuss both regional and global issues, including tensions with North Korea.
In response to Pelosi’s recent visit to Taiwan, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official told Newsweek, “As a regional country, we hope that peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait will continue, and that cross-strait relations will develop peacefully through dialogue and cooperation.” China is South Korea’s top trading partner, and, like the U.S., the peninsula nation only maintains informal relations with Taipei.
Featured Image via