U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reaffirmed her support for Taiwan on Aug. 9 after returning from her Asia tour, and said China’s leader Xi Jinping reacted to her Taiwan visit like “a scared bully.”
In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Pelosi reiterated, “We cannot allow the Chinese government to isolate Taiwan.” Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. official in 25 years to visit Taiwan during her five-country Asia trip last week, which also included Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan.
The Chinese communist regime on the mainland responded to Pelosi’s historic visit with days-long aggressive live-fire military drills in the waters surrounding Taiwan, a self-governing democratic island.
After the communists won China’s civil war in 1949 and established the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC), the legitimate nationalist government, the Republic of China (ROC, 1911–present), retreated to Taiwan.
The United States severed official diplomatic ties with Taiwan (ROC) and established formal diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1979, but maintains informal relations with Taipei. The United States is obligated by federal law to ensure that Taiwan has all the necessary means to defend itself.
‘He’s Acting Like a Scared Bully’
The Chinese regime claims sovereignty over the island that it has never ruled and calls itself the sole leader of both mainland China and Taiwan. It sees the visit of a high-ranking foreign government official to Taiwan as formal recognition of the island’s sovereignty. The Chinese regime made several threats in an effort to deter Pelosi from visiting Taiwan.
When asked about China’s aggressive responses in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Aug. 9, Pelosi said about Xi, “I think that he’s in a fragile crisis … he has problems with his economy. He’s acting like a scared bully.” She added that Xi’s focus now is to get reelected in the upcoming CCP’s national congress.
Pelosi also said on the “Today” show that Xi “has his own insecurities” and she won’t let him control the schedule of members of U.S. Congress. “We met with every Speaker in all five countries, and their members of parliament, so it’s very productive. And in terms of Taiwan, we were not going to take Taiwan off our list because the president of Taiwan has invited us. President of China does not do our schedule,” she emphasized.
In assessing her trip, Pelosi declared, “Yes, it was worth it.” She added that she had received “overwhelming bipartisan support” for her visit to Taiwan.
Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2024, expressed her support for Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan on Aug. 7, telling media, “I do think that Nancy Pelosi was right to go to Taiwan.” She said that the United States should not cave to China’s “temper tantrums” and criticized President Joe Biden for not being more supportive.