Nancy Pelosi, in Taiwan: “We will not abandon you” | International
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Nancy Pelosi, president of the US House of Representatives, has emphasized this Wednesday before the Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen, her country’s commitment to the self-governed island that China considers part of its territory and to which it arrived on Tuesday on a visit which has infuriated Beijing. “The United States has come to make it clear that we will not abandon Taiwan,” said Pelosi. The US policy stressed that, now more than ever, US solidarity with the island is “crucial”, while Tsai declared that her administration will make Taiwan “a key stabilizing force” for the region. The two leaders have met at the Presidential Office in Taipei, where they have had a lengthy conversation on safeguarding freedoms, democracy and human rights. The Taiwanese chief executive thanked Pelosi for her gesture in traveling to Taiwan and “her contributions to the island” -she stressed- by awarding her the highest distinction in Taiwan: the Order of the Propitious Cloud with the Great Special Cordon.
Pelosi had landed in Taiwan on Tuesday night, despite continuous warnings issued by China, which has caused an increase in tensions in the Formosa Strait and, above all, between Washington and China. The Asian giant considers the self-governed island an inalienable part of its territory and does not conceive of foreign politicians visiting it, since it interprets it as support for independence. The 82-year-old Democrat is the Number Three of the US Government, behind the president, Joe Biden, and the vice president, Kamala Harris and the second in the line of succession of Biden if he were unable to hold office. His trip is the first by such a high-ranking politician to Taiwan in 25 years since one of his predecessors in office, Republican Newt Gingrich, visited the island in 1997.
“Today the world decides between democracy and autocracy,” Pelosi told the media. “The determination of the United States to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains unchanged,” he added. According to the legislator, known for her strong opposition to the Communist Party of China, her visit, in addition to bringing “great opportunities for cooperation”, has three objectives: “One is security; security for our peoples and for the world. Another is economic, because we must expand the greatest possible prosperity. The third is governance.”
“It is my great and humble privilege to accept on behalf of Congress [de EE UU] the Order of the Auspicious Cloud with Grand Special Cord: a symbol of the strong and lasting friendship of the United States with Taiwan”, Pelosi wrote on her official Twitter account this morning upon receiving the highest decoration awarded by the Taiwanese Government.
Tsai Ing-wen emphasized that Pelosi is “a true friend of Taiwan” and thanked the US congressional delegation for working to improve relations between the island and the United States. “Taiwan is committed to maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. We will make Taiwan a key stabilizing force for regional security, ensuring a free and open Indo-Pacific as well as stable development of global trade and supply chains”, she has emphasized.
“We will firmly defend the sovereignty of our nation and, at the same time, we will continue to maintain the line of defense of democracy,” Tsai said. The Taiwanese president has recalled that, during the last two decades, Pelosi has maintained a great interest in learning about Taiwan’s democratic advances and shown that she supports her inclusion at the international level. The leader of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party added that she is “very impressed” by Pelosi’s long record of defending human rights and democracy.
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China’s response since Pelosi set foot on the island has been forceful. The Foreign and Defense Ministries have condemned the visit, which they consider “seriously undermines” China’s sovereignty and Sino-American ties.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday morning that Pelosi’s visit “seriously violates the One China principle” and “China’s sovereignty.” The country’s diplomatic leader considers that the trip demonstrates once again that the United States “is the greatest destroyer of regional peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.” “Faced with the national mission of reunifying the country, the Chinese people are firm in not believing in evil and not fearing ghosts; the will not to be intimidated or broken; the determination to be united; and the ability to resolutely uphold national sovereignty and dignity,” Wang said.
Immediately after Pelosi’s arrival, Beijing announced new military maneuvers in the Formosa Strait, including missile tests, and has left the airspace of Fujian province (the closest to Taiwan from the mainland) open. exclusively for Army use.
Pelosi is scheduled to speak with several activists this afternoon, including Wuer Kaixi, a Chinese dissident and leader of the 1989 Tiananmen student protests, and Lee Ming-che, a Taiwanese pro-democracy activist arrested on the Chinese mainland in 2017 and jailed for subversion. . He will also see Lam Wing-kee, former owner of Hong Kong’s Causeway Bookstore, known for selling political-related publications. The 66-year-old bookseller fled the former British colony for Taiwan in the wake of the 2019 protests. The American politician could in turn meet with Mark Liu, head of TSMC, the world’s leading semiconductor company.
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