U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that China will not isolate Taiwan by preventing U.S. officials from traveling there. She made the remarks in Tokyo, the final leg of an Asia tour highlighted by a visit to Taiwan that infuriated China. Pelosi, the first House speaker to visit Taiwan in 25 years, said Wednesday in Taipei that the U.S. commitment to democracy in the self-governing island and elsewhere “remains ironclad.” Pelosi and five other members of Congress arrived in Tokyo late Thursday after visiting Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea. China, which claims Taiwan and has threatened to annex it by force if necessary, called her visit to the island a provocation and on Thursday began military drills, including missile firing, in six zones surrounding Taiwan. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday that China’s military exercises aimed at Taiwan represent a “grave problem” that threatens regional peace and security after five ballistic missiles launched as part of the drills landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone. Kishida, speaking after breakfast with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her congressional delegation, said the missile launches need to be “stopped immediately.” Read: China conducts 'precision missile strikes' in Taiwan Strait China, which claims Taiwan and has threatened to annex it by force if necessary, called Pelosi’s visit earlier this week to the self-ruled island a provocation and on Thursday began military exercises, including missile strike training, in six zones surrounding Taiwan, in what could be its biggest since the mid-1990s. In Taipei on Wednesday, Pelosi said the American commitment to democracy in Taiwan and elsewhere “remains ironclad.” She became the first House speaker to visit the island in 25 years. Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said five missiles landed on Thursday in Japan’s exclusive economic zone off Hateruma, an island far south of Japan’s main islands. He said Japan protested to China, saying the missiles “threatened Japan’s national security and the lives of the Japanese people, which we strongly condemn.” Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, attending a regional meeting in Cambodia, said China’s actions are “severely impacting peace and stability in the region and the international community, and we demand the immediate suspension of the military exercises.” Japan has in recent years bolstered its defense capability and troop presence in southwestern Japan and remote islands, including Okinawa, which is about 700 kilometers (420 miles) northeast of Taiwan. Many residents say they worry their island will be quickly embroiled in any Taiwan conflict. Okinawa is home to the majority of about 50,000 American troops based in Japan under a bilateral security pact. At the breakfast earlier Friday, Pelosi and her congressional delegation also discussed their shared security concern over China, North Korea and Russia, and pledged their commitment to working toward peace and stability in Taiwan, Kishida said. Pelosi also was to hold talks with her Japanese counterpart, lower house Speaker Hiroyuki Hosoda.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi departed Taiwan on Wednesday after meeting with the president and other officials in a visit that heightened tensions with China. Pelosi and five other members of Congress were headed to South Korea, the next stop on an Asia tour that also includes Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. In Taiwan, she said her delegation was showing their commitment to the self-governing island that China claims and says must come under its control. Read: Why Pelosi went to Taiwan, and why China’s angry China staged military drills after her arrival and called her visit a provocation that infringes on its sovereignty.
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi flew into Taiwan on an Air Force passenger jet Tuesday, she became the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island. China announced military maneuvers in retaliation, even as Taiwanese officials welcomed her and she headed to her hotel. The reason her visit ratcheted up tension between China and the United States: China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, and it views visits by foreign government officials as them recognizing the island’s sovereignty. Read: US will not abandon Taiwan as China protests: Pelosi President Joe Biden has sought to calm that complaint, insisting there’s no change in America’s longstanding “one-China policy,” which recognizes Beijing but allows informal relations and defense ties with Taipei. Pelosi portrays her high-profile trip as part of a U.S. obligation to stand with democracies against autocratic countries, and with democratic Taiwan against China. A look at some of the issues at play: WHY DID PELOSI GO TO TAIWAN?
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meeting leaders in Taiwan despite warnings from China, said Wednesday that she and other members of Congress in a visiting delegation are showing they will not abandon their commitment to the self-governing island. “Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy,” she said in a short speech during a meeting with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen. “America’s determination to preserve democracy, here in Taiwan and around the world, remains ironclad.” China, which claims Taiwan as its territory and opposes any engagement by Taiwanese officials with foreign governments, announced multiple military exercises around the island and issued a series of harsh statements after the delegation touched down Tuesday night in the Taiwanese capital Taipei. Taiwan decried the planned actions. Read: US House Speaker Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, defying Beijing “Such an act equals to sealing off Taiwan by air and sea … and severely violates our country’s territorial sovereignty,” said Captain Jian-chang Yu at the National Defense Ministry’s media briefing Wednesday morning. Pelosi’s trip has heightened U.S.-China tensions more than visits by other members of Congress because of her high-level position as leader of the House of Representatives. She is the first speaker of the house to come to Taiwan in 25 years, since Newt Gingrich in 1997. Tsai, thanking Pelosi for her decades of support for Taiwan, presented the speaker with a civilian honor, the Order of the Propitious Clouds. “Facing deliberately heightened military threats, Taiwan will not back down,” Tsai said. “We will firmly uphold our nation’s sovereignty and continue to hold the line of defense for democracy.” Tsai later said in a news conference, “Military exercises are unnecessary responses.” Shortly after Pelosi landed, China announced live-fire drills that reportedly started Tuesday night, as well as a four-day exercise beginning Thursday in waters on all sides of the island. China’s air force also flew a relatively large contingent of 21 war planes, including fighter jets, toward Taiwan.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late Tuesday, becoming the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China, which quickly announced that it would conduct military maneuvers in retaliation for her presence. Pelosi arrived aboard a U.S. Air Force passenger jet and was greeted on the tarmac at Taipei’s international airport by Taiwan’s foreign minister and other Taiwanese and American officials. She posed for photos before her motorcade whisked her unseen into the parking garage of a hotel. Her visit has ratcheted up tension between China and the United States because China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, and it views visits by foreign government officials as recognition of the island’s sovereignty. In a statement issued just after her arrival, Pelosi said the visit “honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.” The Biden administration did not explicitly urge Pelosi to call off her plans. It repeatedly and publicly assured Beijing that the visit would not signal any change in U.S. policy on Taiwan. Soon after Pelosi’s arrival, China announced a series of military operations and drills, which followed promises of “resolute and strong measures” if Pelosi went through with her visit. The People’s Liberation Army said the maneuvers would take place starting Tuesday night in the waters and skies near Taiwan and include the firing of long-range ammunition in the Taiwan Strait. “This action is a solemn deterrent against the recent major escalation of the negative actions of the United States on the Taiwan issue, and a serious warning to the ‘Taiwan independence’ forces seeking ‘independence.’” Read: Pelosi believed headed to Taiwan, raising tension with China China’s official Xinhua News said the army planned to conduct live-fire drills from Aug. 4 to 7 across multiple locations. In an image the news agency released, the drills were to take place in six different areas in the waters surrounding Taiwan. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Washington’s betrayal “on the Taiwan issue is bankrupting its national credibility.” “Some American politicians are playing with fire on the issue of Taiwan,” Wang said in a statement. “This will definitely not have a good outcome ... the exposure of America’s bullying face again shows it as the world’s biggest saboteur of peace.” Back in the United States, 26 Republican lawmakers issued a statement of rare bipartisan support for the Democratic speaker. The statement called trips by members of Congress to Taiwan routine. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said he backed Pelosi’s visit as a display of support for Taiwan’s democracy and said any allegations that her itinerary was provocative are “utterly absurd.” “I believe she has every right to go,” McConnell said in a Senate speech. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry had declined to comment on whether Pelosi would visit. The trip was not officially announced ahead of time. The speaker has sought for decades to focus attention on Chinese democracy movements. She traveled to Tiananmen Square in 1991, two years after China crushed a wave of democracy protests. Barricades were erected outside the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taipei. Journalists and onlookers thronged the streets just outside and pressed against the hotel’s lobby windows as they awaited Pelosi’s motorcade. Two buildings in the capital lit up LED displays with words of welcome, including the iconic Taipei 101 building, which said “Welcome to Taiwan, Speaker Pelosi.” China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province to be annexed by force if necessary, repeatedly warned of retaliation, saying its military will “never sit idly by.” “The U.S. and Taiwan have colluded to make provocations first, and China has only been compelled to act out of self-defense,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing. Shortly after Pelosi’s arrival, a representative of the Chinese legislature’s Standing Committee issued a statement saying the trip “severely violated” the “One China principle,” which is Beijing’s claim to be the sole government of both mainland China and Taiwan. China’s military threats have driven concerns about a new crisis in the 100-mile-wide (140-kilometer) Taiwan Strait that could roil global markets and supply chains. The White House on Monday decried Beijing’s rhetoric, saying the U.S. has no interest in deepening tensions with China and “will not take the bait or engage in saber rattling.” White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby underscored that the decision about whether to visit Taiwan was ultimately Pelosi’s. Kirby said administration officials are concerned that Beijing could use the visit as an excuse to take provocative retaliatory steps, including military action. “Put simply, there is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with longstanding U.S. policy into some sort of crisis or use it as a pretext to increase aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait,” Kirby said. U.S. officials have said the American military will increase its movements in the Indo-Pacific region during Pelosi’s visit. The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and its strike group were in the Philippine Sea on Monday, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations. The Reagan, the cruiser USS Antietam and the destroyer USS Higgins left Singapore after a port visit and moved north to their home port in Japan. The carrier has an array of aircraft, including F/A-18 fighter jets and helicopters, on board as well as sophisticated radar systems and other weapons. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said early Wednesday that China had sent 21 planes flying toward Taiwan, 18 of them fighter jets. The rest included an early warning plane and an electronic warfare plane. Taiwan and China split in 1949 after the Communists won a civil war on the mainland. The U.S. maintains informal relations and defense ties with Taiwan even as it recognizes Beijing as the government of China. Beijing sees official American contact with Taiwan as 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. The flight tracking site Flightradar24 said Pelosi’s aircraft, an Air Force version of the Boeing 737, was the most tracked in the world on Tuesday evening with 300,000 viewers. The plane took a roundabout route, flying east over Indonesia rather than directly over the South China Sea. Pelosi has used her position to be an emissary for the U.S. 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. She had sought to visit Taiwan’s island democracy earlier this year before testing positive for COVID-19. China has been steadily ratcheting up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan. China cut off all contact with Taiwan’s government in 2016 after President Tsai Ing-wen refused to endorse its claim that the island and mainland together make up a single Chinese nation, with the Communist regime in Beijing being the sole legitimate government. Pelosi kicked off her Asian tour Monday in Singapore. She is to travel to Japan and South Korea later this week.
A U.S. congressional delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the courage of the Ukrainian people during a visit to Poland on Sunday, a day after the American lawmakers made a surprise trip to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The U.S. legislators assessed Ukraine's needs for the next phase of the war, with Pelosi vowing that Washington would stand with the country until it defeats Russia's invasion of its territory. Pelosi, a California Democrat who is second in line to the presidency after the vice president, was the most senior American lawmaker to visit Ukraine since Russia’s war began more than two months ago. Her previously unannounced visit came just days after Moscow bombed the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv while the U.N. secretary-general was there. Pelosi and a half-dozen U.S. lawmakers met for three hours late Saturday with Zelenskyy and his top aides to get a first-hand assessment of the war effort to date. Speaking to reporters Sunday in Poland, the delegation members were unanimous in praising Ukraine’s defenses so far, in painting the battle of one as good against evil and in assuring continued long-term U.S. military, humanitarian and economic support. “We were proud to convey to him the message of unity from the Congress of the United States, a message of appreciation from the American people for his leadership and admiration for the people of Ukraine for their courage,” Pelosi said. Also read: Modi vows to bolster ties with Europe amid Ukraine crisis Their visit came two days after U.S. President Joe Biden asked Congress for $33 billion to bolster Ukraine’s fight against Russia, more than twice the size of the initial $13.6 billion aid measure that Congress enacted early last month and now is almost drained. With the war dragging into its third month, the measure was designed to signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that U.S. weaponry and other forms of assistance weren't going away. “This is a time we stand up for democracy or we allow autocracy to rule the day,” said Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York. “This is a struggle of freedom against tyranny,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California. “And in that struggle, Ukraine is on the front lines.” Rep. Jason Crow, a Democrat from Colorado, a veteran and a member of the House intelligence and armed services committee, said he came to Ukraine with three areas of focus: “Weapons, weapons and weapons.” Also read: Pelosi meets with Ukraine president in Kyiv “We have to make sure the Ukrainians have what they need to win. What we have seen in the last two months is their ferocity, their intense pride, their ability to fight and their ability to win if they have the support to do so.” “The United States of America is in this to win, and we will stand with Ukraine until victory is won,” he added. The full congressional delegation included Meeks, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee; Jim McGovern of Massachusetts who chairs the House Rules Committee; Crow, Barbara Lee of California; and Bill Keating of Massachusetts. “You all are welcome,” Zelenskyy told the delegation, according to a video of the encounter. Pelosi told Zelenskyy: “We believe that we are visiting you to say thank you for your fight for freedom." “We are on a frontier of freedom and your fight is a fight for everyone. Our commitment is to be there for you until the fight is done,” Pelosi added. The delegation continued its trip in southeast Poland and visited the capital, Warsaw, to meet with President Andrzej Duda and other senior officials. Poland has received more than 3 million refugees from Ukraine since Russia launched its war on Feb. 24. “We look forward to thanking our Polish allies for their dedication and humanitarian efforts,” Pelosi said. Speaking at a news conference in Poland, Pelosi said she and others in the delegation applauded the courage of the Ukrainian people. She added that the delegation brought Zelenskyy “a message of appreciation from the American people for his leadership.” McGovern said Russia's war had repercussions far beyond Ukraine, saying it was exacerbating a world food crisis that would be disastrous for poor people across the globe. “Putin’s brutal war is no longer only a war against the people of Ukraine,” McGovern said. “It’s also a war against the world’s most vulnerable.” He added that Ukraine is a “breadbasket of the world.” “I don’t think that Putin cares if he starves the world,” McGovern said.
Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made history Wednesday as the first women — one of them Black and Indian American — to share the stage in Congress during a presidential address. President Joe Biden noted the historic development at the very opening of his address. After taking the podium, Biden greeted the two women standing behind him with a “Madam Speaker” and “Madam Vice President.” Also Read: Kamala Harris makes history He then declared, “No president has ever said those words — and it’s about time.” Biden delivered his first prime-time speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night flanked by Pelosi and Harris, two California Democrats. The two began the night with another historic moment: An elbow-bump hello, a pandemic spin on the traditional handshake. Pelosi and Harris stood side by side behind the dais in the House chamber, chatting with each other and occasionally waving to lawmakers as the group waited for Biden to arrive. Also Read: Vice President Harris: A new chapter opens in US politics “It’s pretty exciting. And it’s wonderful to make history. It’s about time,” Pelosi said hours before the speech during an interview on MSNBC. Pelosi already knows what it feels like to sit on the rostrum in the House chamber and introduce a president for their speeches. She has sat there for several addresses by Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Women’s advocates said seeing Harris and Pelosi seated together behind Biden will be a “beautiful moment.” But they noted that electing a woman to sit in the Oval Office remains to be achieved, along with the addition of an equal rights amendment to the Constitution. Biden helped usher the moment along by pledging to pick a woman for his running mate and selecting Harris, then a U.S. senator from California. “This is a great start and we have to continue to move forward to give women their equal due,” said Christian Nunes, president of the National Organization for Women. Pelosi made history by becoming the first female House speaker during Republican Bush’s presidency. He acknowledged the moment by noting during his address to Congress after Pelosi’s election that he had the privilege of being the first president to open with the words “madam speaker.” Pelosi, 81, reclaimed the powerful leadership post during Republican Trump’s presidency and sat behind him during his final two speeches to Congress, famously ripping up her copy of Trump’s remarks in 2020 as cameras continued to roll after he was finished addressing lawmakers. Harris, 56, made history last year when she became the first woman and first Black and Indian American person elected vice president. In her role as president of the Senate, she joins Pelosi to preside over the joint session of Congress. Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, said Wednesday night will show men, women, boys and girls that women can attain and hold high-level positions and that they are as entitled to them as men are. Walsh also noted Biden’s promise to put a woman on his ticket, and pointed as well to the diversity of his Cabinet. She said Biden was likely to begin the speech by turning around to face Pelosi and Harris and feeling proud — not just personally, “but I also think proud for the country and proud for his party and I think he will clearly see the historic implications of this and the role that he played in making that happen.” “For all of us who care about women’s public leadership, we still look forward to the day when the person standing at the podium, in front, is a woman,” Walsh added. “But for now this is a particularly gratifying moment.” Harris’ office declined comment Wednesday on her historic role in the president’s address, preferring to let the moment speak for itself. Apart from the speech Wednesday, Harris and Pelosi have notched another first in U.S. and women’s history. They are first and second, respectively, in the line of presidential succession.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday the House will proceed with legislation to impeach President Donald Trump unless the vice president and Cabinet invoke constitutional authority to force him out, calling Trump a threat to democracy after the deadly assault on the Capitol.
President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi squared off Sunday ahead of his impeachment trial, as she said senators will "pay a price" for blocking new witnesses and he quickly retorted that she and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff should both testify.
Minutes after the House impeached President Donald Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw uncertainty into the process by refusing to say, repeatedly, when or whether she would send two articles to the Senate for a trial.