As Pelosi departs, Taiwan reflects on controversial US visit

by | Aug 3, 2022 | World

Taipei, Taiwan – Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, has left Taiwan after concluding a whirlwind visit that rocked US-China relations and sent shudders through global markets.In response to Pelosi’s visit, China announced live-fire military exercises across six zones in waters surrounding the island of Taiwan that will start on Thursday and continue through Sunday.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense has said China’s unilateral action is an attempt to threaten Taiwan’s ports and metropolitan areas, but some residents are shrugging off the threat.
“Why didn’t they start the drills while she’s still here today?” Peter Wei, a local of Taipei’s Beitou District, told Al Jazeera on Wednesday.
“Is China afraid of something? After all the big threatening talk, they clearly don’t want to encounter any American military units,” he said.
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Despite the risks of a Chinese military response, Pelosi’s visit has exemplified the strength of the United States’s commitment to Taiwan and could generate greater international support for the island democracy, according to several experts in Taiwan’s political circles.
“The US is showing a strong commitment to Taiwan,” Jason Hsu, a former legislator in Taiwan and senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, told Al Jazeera.
“Although visits of members of US government and Congress to Taiwan are not uncommon, to have someone of Speaker Pelosi’s status and stature is indeed extraordinary,” Hsu said.
Speaking to Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan on Wednesday morning, Pelosi described Taiwan as “one of the freest societies in the world”.
Meeting Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, Pelosi praised Tsai for courageous leadership and called for increased inter-parliamentary l …

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