While China is already expressing its discontentment over the US House Speaker’s visit to Taiwan, Nancy Pelosi arrived in Japan and lambasted Beijing for “isolating” Taipei. Addressing a press conference in Japan on Friday, Pelosi reiterated US’ commitment to Taiwan even though China considers the island as its own territory. She said that Beijing tried to “isolate” the self-ruled democratic island. As China decided to boast its military might in response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and kickstarted drills encircling the island on Thursday, the United States House Speaker stated that Beijing will not “dictate” the travel schedule of US officials.
As China gloated multiple threats, Nancy Pelosi said, “The Chinese tried to isolate Taiwan. They can’t isolate Taiwan by stopping US from visiting. They will not dictate our travel schedule. We won’t allow China to isolate Taiwan”.
“We’ve had high-level visits, senators in the spring, a bipartisan way, continuing visits and we will not allow them to isolate Taiwan. They are not doing our travel schedule. The Chinese government is not doing that. Our friendship with Taiwan is a strong one. It is bipartisan in the House and the Senate overwhelming support for peace, the status quo in Taiwan,” she added.
She also reiterated that the US official’s visit is not about changing the status quo here and in Asia, or changing the status quo of Taiwan. “It’s about, again, the Taiwan Relations Act, the US-China policy, all of the pieces of legislation and agreements that have have established what our relationship is, to have peace in the Taiwan Straits and to have the status quo prevail. To that end, as you see, the Chinese made their strikes, probably using our visit as an excuse,” She stressed.
Earlier, Pelosi said that China cannot stop world leaders from travelling to the island. Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday even though the island was not included in her itinerary prompting a harsh response from China before she departed Taipei within 18 hours to continue her Asia trip.
In the latest statement summarising her trip, Pelosi reiterated her admiration for Taiwan’s democracy and called out China’s Communist Party for obstructing the island’s role on the world stage. China, which considers Taiwan its own territory, has condemned any nation developing diplomatic ties with the island. Following Pelosi’s visit, China has slapped Taiwan with trade sanctions and is now set to conduct full-scale five-day military drills encircling Taiwan. Amid Beijing’s expected reaction to the first US Speaker’s visit to the island in 25 years, Pelosi reiterated her support for Taipei.
“Sadly, Taiwan has been prevented from participating in global meetings, most recently the World Health Organization, because of objections by the Chinese Communist party,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“While they may prevent Taiwan from sending its leaders to global forums, they cannot prevent world leaders or anyone from travelling to Taiwan to pay respect to its flourishing democracy, to highlight its many successes and to reaffirm our commitment to continued collaboration”.
China launched its massive military drills on Aug 5
In what is being deemed as China bolstering its military might over its dissatisfaction with Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had begun the manoeuvres on Tuesday night before announcing a flurry of trade sanctions on the island. Chinese military activity around Taiwan continued on Wednesday and the island’s defence ministry reported multiple intrusions of its air space by Beijing. According to Taiwan’s Defence Ministry, Chinese drills violated the United Nations (UN) rules.
China claims Taiwan as its own “breakaway province” and Pelosi’s unannounced visit to the island not only sparked tensions in the region but also deteriorated Washington and Beijing’s already tense relationship. China issued back-to-back condemnations of Pelosi’s visit and pledged that the US would “pay the price” for “hurting” Beijing’s sovereignty. The US House Speaker, however, received a euphoric welcome in Taiwan before she cemented the narrative that the US stands in strong support for Taipei.