Pelosi’s office had previously announced that she would visit Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, but avoided mentioning Taiwan until after the speaker was on the ground.
“Our Congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy,” Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday.
“Our discussions with Taiwan leadership will focus on reaffirming our support for our partner and on promoting our shared interests, including advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific region,” she added. “America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”
In the weeks leading up to Pelosi’s visit, the Chinese government made clear it would view the trip as Washington’s endorsement of Taiwan’s independence.
After Pelosi landed in Taipei, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said her arrival would have “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 démarche and strong protest to the United States,” the ministry said.
“These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it,” it continued.
The speaker brushed off the threats, insisting her visit to Taiwan “in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy.”
“The United States continued to oppose unilateral efforts to change the status quo,” she said Tuesday.
China has long viewed Taiwan as part of its territory. For years, the US has abided by the so-called “One-China” policy, meaning Washington acknowledges but does not endorse Beijing’s claim.
During his time in office, Trump fostered an on-again, off-again relationship with China.
Shortly after signing a Phase One Trade Deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping in January 2020, Trump claimed the US relationship with China “has now probably never, ever been better.”
“He’s for China, I’m for the US, but other than that, we love each other,” the 45th president said of Xi during the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
However, just months later, Trump’s attitude had shifted. He pointed the finger China over the spread of COVID-19, famously dubbing the illness as the “China virus.”
In August 2020, the then-president told Fox Sports Radio that he “used to have a very good relationship” with Xi, but doesn’t “feel the same way now.”
Late last week, Trump warned against Pelosi going to Taiwan, saying, “everything she touches turns to chaos.”
“Why is Nancy Pelosi getting involved with China and Taiwan other than to make trouble and more money, possibly involving insider trading and information, for her cheatin’ husband?” Trump posted.
“Everything she touches turns to Chaos, Disruption, and ‘Crap’ (her second big Congress ‘flop’ happening now!), and the China mess is the last thing she should be involved in – She will only make it worse. Crazy Nancy just inserts herself and causes great friction and hatred. She is such a mess!!!”