Americas, Asia - Pacific

American lawmakers back Taiwan Strait status quo: US House Speaker Pelosi

China's behavior 'seriously impacting peace in the region,' says Japanese premier Fumio Kishida after meeting with Nancy Pelosi

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 05.08.2022
American lawmakers back Taiwan Strait status quo: US House Speaker Pelosi

ISTANBUL

The status quo in the Taiwan Strait enjoys "overwhelming" support among American lawmakers, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, said on Friday.

"In the House and in the Senate, the Democrats and the Republicans overwhelmingly support the status quo in the Taiwan Strait," Pelosi told a press conference in Tokyo.

Emphasizing the importance of continuous communication between Beijing and Washington, she said the US must work with China on issues like climate change.

Lauding Taiwan's economic success, Pelosi said: "Let us celebrate what Taiwan is ... it is a great democracy."

Beijing has launched massive military exercises surrounding Taiwan after Pelosi visited the self-ruled island nation earlier this week, despite the warnings of China which sees it as its "breakaway province."

Pelosi was the first sitting US House Speaker to visit Taiwan in the past 25 years.

Vowing to continue speaking about human rights issues, she said: "If we don't speak of human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose the moral authority to speak on human rights anywhere."

"This trip for us is to show respect to these nations," Pelosi added.

She and her delegation had launched what was to be a four-nation East Asia tour on Monday, when she landed in Singapore before making her way to Malaysia the next day, followed by Taiwan, triggering an angry response from Beijing.

She left the island, located 180 kilometers (110 miles) from mainland China, on Wednesday evening for South Korea, finally landing in Tokyo on Thursday night.

Taiwan had not been mentioned in her official tour agenda.

Earlier on Friday, she met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida but refused to disclose details on the meeting.

According to the Japanese agency Kyodo News, Kishida said they had "confirmed that we will work together to make sure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait are maintained."

"China's behavior has a serious impact on the peace and stability of the region and the world and I explained that we called for an immediate halt to the exercises," he told reporters after his breakfast meeting with Pelosi and her delegation.

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