House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and a congressional delegation arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday, and in an op-ed published by The Washington Post, Pelosi wrote that "in the face of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) accelerating aggression, our congressional delegation's visit should be seen as an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom."
Even before Pelosi landed in Taiwan, China — which considers the island part of its territory — condemned her visit. In the op-ed, Pelosi said this trip "in no way contradicts the long standing one-China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979." This act, which was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter, "fostered a deep friendship rooted in shared interests and values: self-determination and self-government, democracy and freedom, human dignity, and human rights," Pelosi stated. It also considers "any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means ... a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States."
The U.S. "must remember that vow," Pelosi continued. "We must stand by Taiwan, which is an island of resilience." She called Taiwan a "vibrant, robust democracy" that is "under threat," explaining that in recent years, "Beijing has dramatically intensified tensions with Taiwan." China has "ramped up patrols of bombers, fighter jets, and surveillance aircraft near and even over Taiwan's air defense zone" and launched cyberattacks against government agencies, and the Defense Department has concluded that China is likely preparing to take Taiwan over by force.
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China has also cracked down on "Hong Kong's political freedoms and human rights," led a campaign to "erase the Tibetan people's language, culture, religion, and identity," and is "perpetrating genocide against Muslim Uyghurs and other minorities" in Xinjiang, Pelosi wrote. "We cannot stand by as the CCP proceeds to threaten Taiwan — and democracy itself," she added. "Indeed, 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." Read the entire op-ed at The Washington Post.
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