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VIDEO: Pelosi Defends Taiwan Trip as China Bristles

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), left, walks with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei on Aug. 3. | Image by Taiwanese Presidential Office/Getty Images

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) defended her trip to Taiwan earlier this month, saying she led a congressional delegation to “salute this thriving democracy.”

“Our purpose in going to Taiwan was to say that we have this strong relationship built on the status quo, which we support,” said Pelosi at a recent press conference.

Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on August 2, putting an end to days of speculation about whether she would visit the self-governing island during her trip to the Indo-Pacific region.

A group of Democratic lawmakers joined her, but her office refused to confirm the trip to Taiwan before her arrival, citing security concerns, reported The Hill.

The delegation met with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu in bilateral meetings. Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the self-governing island since 1997, when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) visited, NBC News reported.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory, sparked a barrage of aggression from China, including the deployment of warships and fighter jets near Taiwan, The Associated Press reported.

China also confirmed it fired missiles into the waters around the island, disrupting flights and shipping in one of the world’s busiest trade zones. Despite calls to de-escalate tensions, Beijing extended the exercises for nearly a week.

Although the military exercises have concluded, China has continued to send fighter jets across the midpoint of the Taiwan Straight on a daily basis.

China interpreted Pelosi’s visit to the island as recognition of Taiwan’s sovereignty. However, Pelosi and the Biden administration have stated that the U.S. remains committed to the “one-China” policy, which recognizes Beijing while allowing for informal relations and defense ties with Taiwan, according to U.S. News.

Taiwan warned on August 9 that Chinese military exercises are more than just a dress rehearsal for an invasion of the self-governing island but also reflect China’s ambitions to control large swaths of the Western Pacific, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

According to Jing Quan, a minister at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, Pelosi’s mission to support Taiwan’s democratic government has had a “significant impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, seriously infringed on China’s sovereignty and (territorial) integrity, and … undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits,” according to the AP.

“We didn’t go there to talk about China,” Pelosi said. “We went there to praise Taiwan. We went there to show our friendship to say China cannot isolate Taiwan.”

Some observers both in America and Taiwan, however, suggested that Pelosi’s trip had ulterior motivations as well.

The speaker of the house’s son, Paul Pelosi Jr., accompanied his mother on the trip and was not listed on any official itineraries. He has had considerable financial dealings with Asian technologies companies, including being compensated 700,000 shares of $22 million Chinese company Borqs Technologies in 2021.

Pelosi and her family have recently come under increased scrutiny as allegations of insider trading have been growing over recent years.

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