Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday, August 3, left Taiwan after a one-day visit. Pelosi’s plane took off from Taiwan’s Songshan Airport at 18:00 local time (13:00 Moscow time) and headed for South Korea. In total, the American visit lasted 19 hours.
To the politician’s island arrived the day before in the evening as part of his tour of Asia. During her visit, she met with Taiwan’s chief of staff, Tsai Ing-wen, and visited the local parliament. Pelosi became the first speaker of the US House of Representatives in 25 years to visit Taiwan.
With her visit, Pelosi hoped to “make it clear that The US will not abandon its obligations to Taiwan”, she said during a meeting with Ing-wen. “Right now in the world there is a struggle between autocracy and democracy,” Pelosi said at a press conference, adding that one of the purposes of the trip is “to show the world the success of the people of Taiwan, the courage to change their country become more democratic.”
Pelosi’s visit draws sharp criticism from Beijing
The Chinese authorities, who consider Taiwan their territory, spoke out with harsh criticism even before Pelosi’s visit to the island. Chinese President Xi Jinping, during a telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden, warned the United States against “playing with fire” regarding Washington’s position on Taiwan.
In protest, the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador to Beijing Nicholas Burns. In addition, China is partially suspended trading with the island and announced military exercises in the Taiwan Strait. US does not officially recognize Taiwan independence, but opposes Chinese threats to annex the island by force.
The White House expects that the conflict with China after the departure of Pelosi will not come to naught. “China is ready to take further steps and we expect them to continue to respond in the long term,” White House spokesman John Kirby said.
The White House was against Pelosi’s trip
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stressed before Pelosi’s visit that Congress is an independent branch of government independent of the White House, so the decision to travel is “completely up to the speaker.”
The White House opposed the trip because of fears that it would aggravate relations with China, US media reported, citing sources. “The military doesn’t think it’s a good idea right now,” Biden told reporters about Pelosi’s trip. This visit does not indicate a change in Washington’s policy towards the status of Taiwan, John Kirby stressed.
“Our visit is one of several congressional delegations to Taiwan and is in no way inconsistent with longstanding United States policy,” Pelosi said.