WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is in Taiwan, a visit that’s angering China and could further strain U.S. relations with China. The issue is that China sees Taiwan as its territory while Taiwan considers itself independent, and China perceives Pelosi’s trip as a provocation.
“Let me be clear, the speaker’s visit is totally consistent with our long-standing One China Policy,” John Kirby with the National Security Council said.
In a Washington Post opinion piece, Pelosi said the delegation she leads is “an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan” in the face of what she calls “accelerating aggression” from China.
Republicans are unusually supportive of her.
“I’m about to use four words in a row that I haven’t used in this way before. And those four words are Speaker Pelosi was right,” Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said.
“I don’t think the Chinese get to tell members of Congress where they can go,” Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell added.
In response, China says it will conduct military exercises with live ammunition in areas surrounding Taiwan.
“There’s no reason for Beijing to turn this visit, which is consistent with long-standing policy, into some sort of crisis,” Kirby said.
Chinese officials say the U.S. and Taiwan are working together to provoke China and playing with fire. The U.S. is also positioning warships near Taiwan.