Taiwan legislators welcome Pelosi's visit despite China's threats

08/02/2022 09:13 PM
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U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Image source: facebook.com/NancyPelosi
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Image source: facebook.com/NancyPelosi

Taipei, Aug. 2 (CNA) Taiwan legislators across the political spectrum on Tuesday welcomed reports of an expected visit by United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi later in the day, and they called on China not to overact.

Pelosi's expected trip to Taiwan, which will be the first in 25 years by a U.S. House speaker, has gained attention internationally, not least from the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

On Monday, the English-language Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, published an editorial titled "PLA (People's Liberation Army) is not afraid to fight for defending sovereignty and security."

The editorial said the Chinese people love and cherish peace, "but this doesn't mean that we will trade our core interests for peace and tolerate bullying. We will not attack unless we are attacked, but if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack."

Commenting on the issue, Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Pelosi's visit will significantly boost Taiwan's faith in the U.S.' commitment to its security, and the House speaker should not be deterred by Beijing's threats.

Pelosi's visit is a touchstone for the Taiwan-U.S. alliance and the latter's leadership in the Indo-Pacific region, Lo, a former professor of political science, told CNA.

If the White House yields to Beijing's threats and cancels Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, it will create a chink in the U.S.' armor in the event of a war across the Taiwan Strait, he said.

DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the Foreign and National Defense Committee, also expressed similar views.

Pelosi's trip to Taiwan, in disregard of Beijing's intimidation, will prove that the Taiwan-U.S. alliance can withstand pressure from China, and the expected Chinese military intimidation in the wake of her visit will again cast China as a "troublemaker" in the international community, Wang said.

With its comparatively inferior military force, China is unlikely to provoke a conflict with the U.S. but will continue to show its displeasure over Pelosi's visit, probably in the form of military incursions into the Taiwan Strait beyond the median line and in the southwest air zone and augmented live missile exercises, Wang said.

Taiwan's opposition party legislators also welcomed the reports of Pelosi's expected visit, with Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) of the Kuomintang saying it was part of "the continued exchanges between elected bodies of democratic nations."

Pelosi's visit "reflects the solid U.S.-ROC [Taiwan] relationship that is built upon decades of continuous cooperation," he wrote in English in a Facebook post.

"Taiwan will always be a strong partner to foster democratic alliance with U.S. in Asia," said Chiang, a descendant of the late ROC President Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and the KMT's Taipei mayoral candidate in the upcoming local government elections.

Among lawmakers of the smaller opposition parties, Taiwan People's Party legislative caucus whip Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠) said that Pelosi's visit symbolized the U.S. support for Taiwan's freedom and democracy.

Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智), legislative caucus whip of the New Power Party, said the House speaker's visit signaled a change in the White House and among U.S. think tanks on the Taiwan issue, which would pave the way for the U.S.' unequivocal support for Taiwan in the future.

Meanwhile, KMT spokesperson Liu Tsai-wei (柳采葳) said that while the party "welcomes all international guests who are friendly to Taiwan," it is urging President Tsai and her administration not to exploit such "friendliness" to provoke Beijing.

(By Wang Cheng-chung, Wang Yang-yu, Chen Yi-hsuan and Ken Chao)

Enditem/pc

Update

Aug. 6: 20 Chinese warplanes, 14 warships deployed around Taiwan: MND

Aug. 6: U.S., Japan, Australia urge China to stop military drills

Aug. 6: Taiwan companies told to abide by China's labeling rule: MOEA

Aug. 5: 68 Chinese warplane, 13 warship sorties recorded around Taiwan: MND

Aug. 5: MOFA reports continued cyberattacks seeking to crash its website

Aug. 4: President Tsai calls China's live-fire drills 'irresponsible act'

Aug. 3: China's military exercises aimed at blockading Taiwan: defense ministry

Aug. 3: China imposes new trade restrictions on Taiwan as Pelosi visits

Aug. 2: Visit to honor 'unwavering' U.S. commitment to Taiwan: Pelosi

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