Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Taiwan is an inherent part of China and accused U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of provoking the Taiwan-China conflict on Thursday.
At the 19th annual meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in Moscow, Putin was asked about his position on Taiwan. The Russian president responded, “Taiwan indubitably is an inherent part of the People’s Republic of China and this is the position we’ve always adhered to. It remains unchanged.”
“The provocative gestures, such as the visits to Taiwan by the U.S. highest dignitaries, are seen in Russia as nothing but a provocation. Why do that? Honestly, I cannot answer that,” the Russian president said.
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His statement points to the recent string of U.S. delegation visits to Taiwan, of which U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA-12) visit in August was the most prominent. As the highest-ranking official to visit Taiwan thus far, her visit to the island has heightened U.S. tensions with China and is expected to have long-standing impacts.
The 70-year-old Russian president expressed his inability to understand the actions of “granny” Pelosi as it “goes against all common sense” and provokes China. Amidst opposing Russia regarding the invasion of Ukraine, Putin questioned why the U.S. would “sour their relations with China at the same time.”
Characterizing the U.S. as “mad,”’ “arrogant” and having a “sense of impunity,” Putin explained that he viewed the Western superpower as irrational for stoking tensions with China “while being unable to resolve the issue around Ukraine and Russia.”
This is not the first time Putin has spoken on the topic of Taiwan. In an August international security summit, the Russian president critiqued Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and blamed the U.S. for the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. However, House Speaker Pelosi and her fellow U.S. lawmakers are not the only prominent figures who have spoken in favor of Taiwanese independence. In a September “60 Minutes” interview, U.S. President Joe Biden also clarified his unwavering determination to defend Taiwan in the case of a Chinese invasion. In the same Valdai discussion, Putin also presented a scathing take on the West, predicting that “the historical period of the West’s undivided dominance over world affairs is coming to an end.”