Pelosi Says That the Trip to Taipei Shows That the Us Will Not Give Up on Taiwan!
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her trip to Taiwan was intended to make it “unequivocally clear” that the United States would “not abandon” the democratically governed island.
“We are proud of our enduring friendship,” said Pelosi, speaking alongside Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei on Wednesday morning local time.
“Now more than ever, America’s solidarity with Taiwan is crucial and that is the message we are bringing here today,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi’s speech came soon after Tsai praised the speaker’s long commitment to democracy and human rights and gave her Taiwan’s highest civilian honor, the “Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon.”
“I look forward to displaying this award in the Speaker’s Office, or wearing it there, at the Capitol as a symbol of our treasured friendship,” Pelosi said.
It has been 25 years since a US House Speaker went to Taiwan, an island with its government that China claims as part of its territory. Pelosi’s trip is the first time a US House Speaker has been there.
Pelosi went to Taiwan despite warnings from both the Biden administration and China. After the House speaker’s congressional delegation landed in Taipei on Tuesday, China had a strong reaction.
China’s military — the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA — announced it was conducting military exercises from Thursday to Sunday in response to Pelosi’s visit, including joint air and sea drills and live-fire exercises.
Tsai on Wednesday thanked Pelosi for visiting the self-ruled island and said Taipei would do “whatever it takes” to strengthen its self-defense capability.
“Facing deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down,” Tsai said at the presidential office in Taipei. “We will firmly uphold our nation’s sovereignty and continue to hold the line of defense for democracy. At the same time, we wish to cooperate and work in unity with all democracies around the world to jointly safeguard democratic values.”
Tsai said she wants to “keep peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait and promised to make Taiwan a “key stabilizing force” for regional security and the growth of global trade.
In her first public comments since becoming the highest-ranking American official to visit the island in 25 years, Pelosi praised Taiwan as “one of the freest societies in the world” earlier on Wednesday.
Pelosi and the US congressional delegation she is leading also met with members of the Taiwanese Parliament. Before a meeting behind closed doors, they chatted with Taiwan’s Deputy Speaker Tsai Chi-chang.
“So now we look forward to our conversation about how we can work together, learning from you and sharing some thoughts ourselves on how to protect the planet from the climate crisis, how to accelerate and learn from you, how you address the Covid crisis, how we advance respect for all of the people in our countries as we go forward,” Pelosi said. “And again, we come in friendship, we thank you for your leadership, and we want the world to recognize that.”
Tsai thanked Pelosi for coming to Taiwan and giving “rock-solid support.” She said that the visit by the US congressional delegation was “the strongest defense and consolidation of the value of democracy and freedom.”
The Ministry of National Defense of Taiwan said on Tuesday that 21 Chinese warplanes entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).
The incursions were made by 10 J-16 fighter jets, 8 J-11 fighter jets, 1 Y-9 electronic warfare aircraft, 1 Y-8 electronic intelligence aircraft, and 1 KJ-500 airborne early warning and control aircraft, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday night.
The Taiwanese military issued radio warnings and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the activities, it added.
China often sends warplanes into what Taiwan calls its own ADIZ. On October 4, 2016, 56 military planes flew into the area at the same time. This was the most ever recorded.
Air defense identification zones are buffer zones that are set up to let people know ahead of time when planes are coming. They are different from and go beyond a territory’s sovereign airspace, which international law says is 12 nautical miles from its shore.
Nicholas Burns, the US ambassador to China, was called in by Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Feng on Tuesday night, local time, to protest the visit. This was reported by Chinese state media on Wednesday.
But officials at the White House said that Pelosi’s trip was in line with US policy toward Taiwan and warned Beijing not to get worse in response.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry welcomed the speaker’s visit, saying it “fully demonstrates the high importance the US Congress attaches to Taiwan.”
Pelosi has been a “China hawk” for a long time. She explained why she chose to be the first speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years in an op-ed that came out soon after she landed on Tuesday. She wrote that the US needed to stand up for a democracy that was being threatened by the Chinese Communist Party.
“We cannot stand by as the (Communist Party) proceeds to threaten Taiwan — and democracy itself,” she wrote.