Pelosi says US cannot allow China to isolate Taiwan, rants against Chinese leader
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has defended her controversial trip to Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), and accused Chinese President Xi Jinping of acting "like a scared bully.”
In her first interview since returning from Asia last week on NBC News on Tuesday, Pelosi claimed the trip was "absolutely" worth it and said the United States cannot allow China to isolate the self-governing island.
"We cannot allow the Chinese government to isolate Taiwan," Pelosi said. "They're not going to say who can go to Taiwan."
She said President Xi Jinping "has his own insecurities" and she won't let him control the schedule of members of Congress.
"And what the Chinese are doing is what they usually do," she added.
“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 added.
Last Wednesday, Pelosi landed in Taiwan, despite stark warnings from China and amid soaring tensions between the world's two superpowers.
From the self-governing territory, Pelosi criticized Beijing and its leadership, while carefully outlining the limitations of the US commitment to defend the island.
Pelosi said her visit was intended to make it "unequivocally clear" that the United States would "not abandon" the island.
China had warned the US and Pelosi against the visit, as it views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will one day rejoin a “one” China. In response to Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, China’s People’s Liberation Army began the largest military exercises targeting Taiwan in decades.
China carried out military exercises in both the seas and airspace surrounding Taiwan.
Pelosi’s controversial and ill-timed visit has been condemned worldwide, with countries such as Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea backing the One China policy and denouncing the breach of China’s territorial integrity.
Relations between Washington and Beijing have hit a new low over the self-ruled island. China sees Taiwan as part of its territory and has already warned Washington against playing with fire, vowing to punish those who ignore Beijing’s warnings.