Explained: Why Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan Visit Has Irked China

Pelosi kicked off her Asian tour Monday in Singapore. She is to travel to Japan and South Korea later this week.

By Anushka Vats
Wed, 03 Aug 2022 10:18 AM IST
Minute Read
Explained: Why Nancy Pelosi's Taiwan Visit Has Irked China
Pelosi arrives in Taiwan vowing U.S. commitment (Reuters Image).

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday issued a strong statement soon after the United States (US) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taipei, Taiwan. It claimed that Pelosi's visit is a "serious violation of the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiques".

"It has a severe impact on the political foundation of China-US relations, and seriously infringes upon China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It gravely undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and sends a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces for 'Taiwan independence'. China firmly opposes and sternly condemns this, and has made serious demarche and strong protest to the United States," the statement read.

Pelosi is the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. She has been critical of China over the decades.

Pelosi's Criticism Of China:

Pelosi has used her position to be an emissary for the US on the global stage. She has long challenged China on human rights, including in 2009, when she hand-delivered a letter to then-President Hu Jintao calling for the release of political prisoners.

A statement on Pelosi's website reads: “The United States Congress, on a bipartisan and bicameral basis, stands united in demanding that the People’s Republic of China be held accountable and immediately cease its human rights abuses: from its genocide against the Uyghurs, to its long campaign of repression against the Tibetan people and to its assault on basic freedoms in Hong Kong and on the mainland. As House Speaker, I applaud the President’s leadership with the White House announcement that there will be no official U.S. diplomatic presence at the 2022 Winter Olympics."

She had sought to visit Taiwan's island democracy earlier this year before testing positive for COVID-19.

Why does China Have A Problem With Pelosi's Visit?

Taiwan and China split in 1949 after the Communists won a civil war on the mainland. The US maintains informal relations and defence ties with Taiwan even as it recognizes Beijing as the government of China.

Beijing sees official American contact with Taiwan as an encouragement to make the island's decades-old de facto independence permanent, a step U.S. leaders say they don't support. Pelosi, head of one of three branches of the U.S. government, is the highest-ranking elected American official to visit Taiwan since then-Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997.

Meanwhile, Pelosi kicked off her Asian tour Monday in Singapore. She is to travel to Japan and South Korea later this week.

(With agency inputs)

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.