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Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan: US house speaker tells parliament ‘we come in friendship’ – live updates | US politics

Pelosi speaks to Taiwan parliament

To recap, in her speech to Taiwan parliament, Pelosi said she wants to increase parliamentary exchanges between the US and Taiwan. She called Taiwan “one of the freest societies in the world”. She also said the US chip bill would offer a good opportunity for US-Taiwan cooperation in the chip industry.

“We come in friendship to Taiwan, we come in peace to the region,” she said during a meeting with Tsai Chi-chang, the deputy speaker of Taiwan’s parliament.

Pelosi waves as she arrives at parliament in Taiwan. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters

Key events

China will suspend the imports of citrus fruits, chilled white striped hairtail and frozen horse mackerel from Taiwan starting 3 August, China customs said on Wednesday. It follows China’s commerce ministry saying it will suspend exports of natural sand to Taiwan from Wednesday.

Here are some images of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan so far:

Pelosi arrives at Taiwan parliament on Wednesday.
Pelosi arrives at Taiwan parliament on Wednesday. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters
Demonstrators take part in a protest in Taipei on Tuesday against Pelosi’s visit to the island.
Demonstrators take part in a protest in Taipei on Tuesday against Pelosi’s visit to the island. Photograph: Annabelle Chih/Getty Images
Demonstrators hold signs during a gathering in support of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
At another gathering, demonstrators hold signs in support of the US speaker’s visit to Taiwan. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters
A group photo Pelosi and other members of the delegation arrive in Taipei Songshan on Tuesday.
A group photo of Pelosi and other members of the US delegation as they arrived in Taipei on Tuesday. Photograph: Taiwan Ministry Of Foreign Affairs/Reuters

Pelosi speaks to Taiwan parliament

To recap, in her speech to Taiwan parliament, Pelosi said she wants to increase parliamentary exchanges between the US and Taiwan. She called Taiwan “one of the freest societies in the world”. She also said the US chip bill would offer a good opportunity for US-Taiwan cooperation in the chip industry.

“We come in friendship to Taiwan, we come in peace to the region,” she said during a meeting with Tsai Chi-chang, the deputy speaker of Taiwan’s parliament.

Pelosi waves as she arrives at parliament in Taiwan.
Pelosi waves as she arrives at parliament in Taiwan. Photograph: Ann Wang/Reuters

Pelosi told Taiwan’s parliament “We want to increase parliamentary exchanges with Taiwan” and “We come in friendship to Taiwan, peace to the region”.

Some early comments from Pelosi, she has told Taiwan’s parliament’s deputy head “Taiwan is one of the freest societies” and that the “US chip bill is a good opportunity”.

Pelosi has arrived at parliament in Taipei, we are expecting to hear from her shortly.

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi (C) waves to journalists during her arrival at the parliament in Taipei on Wednesday.
US House speaker Nancy Pelosi (C) waves to journalists as she arrival at parliament in Taipei on Wednesday. Photograph: Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images

Summary

It’s just after 9am on Wednesday in Taipei and we are expecting to hear from US House speaker Nancy Pelosi in the coming hours. Here’s where things stand:

  • Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday on a trip she said shows an unwavering American commitment to the Chinese-claimed self-ruled island. “Our congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy,” Pelosi said in a statement shortly after landing.
  • China condemned the highest-level US visit in 25 years as a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has never renounced using force to bring it under its control. Taiwan rejects China’s sovereignty claims, saying only the Taiwanese people can decide the island’s future.
  • 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 that referred to the US as “the world’s biggest saboteur of peace.”
  • China summoned the US ambassador in Beijing on Tuesday to rebuke him over Pelosi’s “egregious” trip to Taiwan, state media reported. Vice foreign minister Xie Feng voiced “strong protests” over Pelosi’s visit to the democratic self-governing island, which China considers part of its territory, during his talk with ambassador Nicholas Burns.
  • China’s military announced joint air and sea drills near Taiwan starting on Tuesday night and test launches of conventional missiles in the sea east of Taiwan, with Chinese state news agency Xinhua describing live-fire drills and other exercises around Taiwan from Thursday to Sunday.
  • Taiwan’s defence ministry said 21 Chinese aircraft entered its air defence identification zone on Tuesday, and that China was attempting to threaten key ports and cities with drills around the island. Taiwan’s armed forces have “reinforced” their alertness level, it added.
  • White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Pelosi was within her rights to visit Taiwan but also stressed that the trip did not constitute a violation of Chinese sovereignty or America’s longstanding “one-China” policy.
  • Kirby also said that the US will continue to operate in the seas and skies of the western Pacific.
  • Twenty six Republican lawmakers issued a statement of rare bipartisan support for the Democratic speaker. The statement called trips by members of Congress to Taiwan routine.
  • Pelosi will meet with Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday morning and then have lunch together, the presidential office said.
  • Four sources said Pelosi is also scheduled on Wednesday to meet activists outspoken about China’s human rights record, according to Reuters. The Washington Post reported Pelosi will also meet the chairman of Taiwanese semiconductor giant TSMC.

China’s commerce ministry has suspended the nation’s export of sand to Taiwan, according to a notice issued on Wednesday. We will bring you more details as they come in.

China summons US ambassador

China summoned the US ambassador in Beijing on Tuesday to rebuke him over House speaker Pelosi’s “egregious” trip to Taiwan, state media reported.

Vice foreign minister Xie Feng voiced “strong protests” over Pelosi’s visit to the democratic self-governing island, which China considers part of its territory, during his talk with ambassador Nicholas Burns.

“The move is extremely egregious in nature and the consequences are extremely serious,” Xie was quoted as saying by China’s state news agency Xinhua. “China will not sit idly by.”

“Taiwan is China’s Taiwan, and Taiwan will eventually return to the embrace of the motherland. Chinese people are not afraid of ghosts, pressure and the evil,” Xie told Burns, according to Xinhua.

Pelosi will meet with Mark Liu, chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), during her visit to the island, the Washington Post reported.

Pelosi and Liu will discuss implementation of the recently passed Chips and Science Act, which provides $52bn of US federal subsidies for domestic chip factories, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter. The meeting is planned for Wednesday Taiwan time, it said.

If you’re just catching up, our China affairs correspondent Vincent Ni has analysed the possible outcomes of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. He writes that the arrival of the US House speaker is likely to inflame relations between the US and China, without making Taiwan safer. Read his full analysis below:

Russia has reacted to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan: AFP reports Moscow said that ally China had every right to take measures to protect its sovereignty and called the US House speaker’s visit a “clear provocation”.

“The Chinese side has the right to take necessary measures to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity over the Taiwan issue,” the Russian foreign ministry said. Moscow called Pelosi’s visit “a clear provocation” aimed at containing China.

“We urge Washington to refrain from actions that undermine regional stability and international security and recognize the new geopolitical reality, in which there is no longer room for American hegemony,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

In case you missed it, here’s a quick guide to the tensions between China and Taiwan:

China’s UK ambassador has urged British politicians not to “dance to the tune of the United States” and vowed “severe consequences” should MPs set foot in Taiwan.

Speaking at a press conference in London, the Chinese ambassador, Zheng Zeguang, who has been on parliament’s sanctions list since last summer, also reminded the British government of the joint communique the two countries signed in 1972, when they began to exchange ambassadors.

Zheng said: “It is … interference in China’s internal affairs that will inevitably lead to severe consequences in China-UK relations … We call on the UK side to abide by its own commitment … and not to underestimate the extreme sensitivity of the Taiwan issue, and not to follow the US’s footsteps.”

Read the full story here.

In Taiwan, our correspondent Helen Davidson and Chi Hui Lin report from Taipei that the population has not been overly interested in the talk of a visit by Pelosi ahead of her arrival. But then her visit was confirmed and the mood changed. News sites ran polls, with almost two-thirds of respondents in one survey saying the visit was destabilizing. Talk radio discussed preparation and escape plans. Hundreds of civilians gathered across multiple city sites to welcome or protest against her arrival.

Read the full story here on how Taiwan has reacted to Pelosi’s visit.

A protester in Taipei holds a banner opposing Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
A protester in Taipei holds a banner opposing Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Photograph: Chiang Ying-ying/AP

North Korea has criticised what it called US “imprudent interference” in China’s internal affairs over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Reuters reports citing the official KCNA.

A North Korean foreign ministry spokesperson said they “vehemently denounce” any external force’s interference in the issue of Taiwan and “fully support” China, its major ally and economic lifeline.

“It is the due right of a sovereign state to take counter measures against the moves of the outside forces openly interfering in its internal affairs and destroying its territorial integrity,” the unidentified official was quoted by KCNA as saying.

Ramon Antonio Vargas

Having landed in Taiwan amid soaring tensions with China’s military, the US House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, defended her controversial trip to the self-ruling island, saying she was making clear that American leaders “never give in to autocrats” in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post.

“We cannot stand by as [China] proceeds to threaten Taiwan – and democracy itself,” said Pelosi’s piece, published just as the veteran California congresswoman’s plane touched down on Tuesday. “Indeed, we take this trip at a time when the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.”

Given that Pelosi’s trip presents a serious diplomatic headache for the Biden White House, there had been much speculation about the motivations behind the controversial visit. In her op-ed Pelosi struck a hard line against China’s position that her trip was a provocation and placed it in the context of a broader global struggle over political freedom.

In the article Pelosi said: “We take this trip at a time when the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy. As Russia wages its premeditated, illegal war against Ukraine, killing thousands of innocents – even children – it is essential that America and our allies make clear that we never give in to autocrats.”

Full story:

Republican senators back Pelosi visit

Martin Pengelly

Martin Pengelly

If Joe Biden is less than delighted that Nancy Pelosi is in Taiwan, quite a lot of Republican senators feel quite the opposite. Twenty-five of them – half the caucus in the evenly divided chamber – released a statement earlier, in support of the House speaker, otherwise a much-demonised figure throughout the GOP:

We support Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan. For decades, members of the United States Congress, including a previous Speaker of the House, have travelled to Taiwan. This travel is consistent with the United States’ One China policy to which we are committed. We are also committed now, more than ever, to all elements of the Taiwan Relations Act.

The supportive senators are: Susan Collins (Maine), Dan Sullivan (Alaska), Mitch McConnell (Kentucky), John Thune (South Dakota), Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma), Jim Risch (Idaho), Roy Blunt (Missouri), John Cornyn (Texas), John Barrasso (Wyoming), Kevin Cramer (North Dakota), Ben Sasse (Nebraska), Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), Thom Tillis (North Carolina), Tommy Tuberville (Alabama), Steve Daines (Montana), Deb Fischer (Nebraska), Todd Young (Indiana), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Rob Portman (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Richard Burr (North Carolina), John Boozman (Arkansas), Tim Scott (South Carolina), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania).

Marsha Blackburn.
Marsha Blackburn. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

There weren’t many Trumpian fire-eaters among the 25 but one senator who has been known to blow hot in such a fashion, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, had harsher words for Biden, tweeting: “The world overlooked Wuhan’s role in the Covid pandemic. The world overlooked Beijing’s human rights record during the genocide games. Now, Biden is pressuring the world to forget all about Taiwan’s freedom.”

At the White House, spokesperson John Kirby said: “We will continue to support Taiwan, defend a free and open Indo-Pacific and seek to maintain communication with Beijing.” He also said the United States “will not engage in sabre-rattling”.

China’s opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s trip has been well known and very well signaled by its government.

The visit has plunged the Asia-Pacific region into a diplomatic crisis – though how much is just sabre-rattling is hard to tell. One person who will be told for sure is the US ambassador to China.

This story is moving on the Chinese news wire Xinhua: Chinese vice foreign minister Xie Feng urgently summoned US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns late Tuesday night.



Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan: US house speaker tells parliament ‘we come in friendship’ – live updates | US politics Source link Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan: US house speaker tells parliament ‘we come in friendship’ – live updates | US politics

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