The United States wants Taiwan to always have freedom with security and will not back away from that, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said during a visit to Taipei fiercely criticised by China.
“Today the world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy,” Pelosi said in a short speech during a meeting with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday.
“America’s determination to preserve democracy, here in Taiwan and around the world, remains ironclad,” she said, with a furious China gearing up for military exercises dangerously close to the island’s shores in retaliation for the visit.
“Today, our delegation…came to Taiwan to make unequivocally clear we will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan and we are proud of our enduring friendship,” Pelosi, who is leading the trip with five other members of Congress, said.
She met with representatives from Taiwan’s legislature earlier on Wednesday.
China claims Taiwan as its territory and opposes any engagement by Taiwanese officials with foreign governments.
It vowed to launch “targeted military actions” and announced multiple drills after the US delegation touched down in the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, on Tuesday night.
It also rolled out curbs on the import of fruit and fish from Taiwan while halting shipments of sand to the island over compliance issues, though analysts link the move to Pelosi’s visit.