Pelosi Taiwan visit – live: Biden admin says US and China ‘not at the brink’ as House speaker departs – The Independent

Nancy Pelosi sends ‘unequivocal message’ that ‘America stands with Taiwan’

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi left Taiwan on a US Air Force jet on Wednesday evening, concluding a historic and high-stakes visit that drew a slew of responses from China.

Beijing warned of “punishing” those who offend it, while Chinese state media called the speaker’s trip an “opening salvo of war”.

China says it will hold almost a week of military exercises that include live-fire drills in six zones surrounding Taiwan, which the island has dubbed a “blockade”. Earlier, it imposed trade restrictions on some food items and construction materials.

Meanwhile, Russia backed China’s assertion that the trip was a deliberate attempt by Washington to irritate Beijing, while a Kremlin spokesperson said that the tension created from Ms Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan “should not be underestimated”.”

Ms Pelosi was awarded Taiwan’s highest civilian award during her meeting with the Taiwanese president earlier today, where she reaffirmed US support for democracy on the contested island.

“We will not abandon our commitment to Taiwan and we are proud of our enduring friendship,” Ms Pelosi said in an address.

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G7 countries denounce China for ‘destablising’ Taiwan Strait over Pelosi visit

The G7 counties released a joint statement denouncing China for “destablising” the Taiwan Strait over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

“There is no justification to use a visit as pretext for aggressive military activity in the Taiwan Strait,” G7 foreign ministers said in a sttaement.

Diplomats from the organisation said they were “concerned by recent and announced threatening actions by the People’s Republic of China, particularly live-fire exercises and economic coercion, which risk unnecessary escalation”.

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NSC Spokesman Admiral John Kirby says US and China are not at ‘the brink’

NSC Spokesman Admiral John Kirby appeared on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday and said that despite China’s rhetoric in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the US and Beijing were not “on the brink.”

Mr Kirby said that he did not “believe we’re at the brink now, and there’s certainly no reason for anybody to be talking about being at the brink going forward.”

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Pelosi leaves Taiwan for South Korea

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left Taiwan after spending a day there meeting with officials. Chinese forces continued to conduct military drills around the time of her departure as a way to show its displeasure with her visit.

Ms Pelosi will now head to South Korea, where she will meet with National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo, leaders of the ruling conservative People Power Party, and the opposition Democratic Party of Korea.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will not be meeting with Ms Pelosi. He is on a planned holiday, though commenters have speculated he may be trying to dodge meeting with the House Speaker to avoid angering China.

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White House Press Secretary and Fox News host spar over Biden’s lack of endorsement for Pelosi’s trip

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and Fox News’ Peter Doocy sparred on Wednesday over the fact that Joe Biden has not endorsed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

Mr Doocy asked Ms Jean-Pierre if Mr Biden was “worried about hurting Xi’s feelings,” referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Ms Jean-Pierre responded that Mr Biden had made clear they could not tell congressional members where to go, which prompted Mr Doocy to say that Republican leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Lindsey Graham, offered praise to Ms Pelosi for the trip.

Ms Jean-Pierre refused to say Mr Biden supported the trip.

Republicans have managed to work Mr Biden into a tough spot; by offering their support and noting his silence, it makes the president appear afraid to anger Beijing. If he does endorse her trip, it could ratchet up the already heightened tensions between the two nations.

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White House: There is no reason for China to turn Taiwan trip into crisis

While reponding to reporters questions during a briefing, White House Press Secretary reiterated the Biden administration’s stance regarding Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan this week, stating that “members of Congress have the right to travel wherever they choose” and added that there was no reason for China to turn the House speaker’s visit into a “crisis”.

“There’s no reason for Beijing to turn this visit, which is consistent with long standing US policy and into some sort of crisis,” Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday. “We have been very clear there’s no change in our One China policy, which is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. That has not changed.”

The press secretary emphasised that the US doesn’t want a crisis, but noted that the administration was prepared “to manage what Beijing chooses to do about that”.

“There’s a Chinese official that says the US must pay the price for its own mistake. And we mean what we say when the Chinese threaten the US that the President takes them seriously,” she said.

“Nothing has changed when it comes to our policies.”

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Video: China ‘didn’t say anything when the men came’

While speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Taiwan, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi contended that Chinese officials didn’t make “much of a fuss” when male US leaders visited the self-governing island nation earlier this year.

In April, five US senators Taiwan and the speaker suggested that the response from Beijing was muted in comparison the reception her unannounced trip evoked.

She later said China perhaps “made a big fuss because I’m speaker,” before quipping that “they didn’t say anything when the men came,” a jest that was met with a roomful of laughter.

Watch the full clip below.

Pelosi on Taiwan visit: China ‘didn’t say anything when the men came’

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Canada calls on China to de-escalate tensions

Canadian Foreign Minister said Wednesday that she was concerned by the recent tensions in the Taiwan Strait after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei this week and specifically called on China to de-escalate the situation.

“We think that legislators do visits around the world and clearly the visit cannot be used as a justification for heightened tensions or a pretext,” Ms Joly said to reporters in Montreal while speaking alongside her German counterpart Annalena Baerbock.

“So, in that sense we call on China to de-escalate because we think that there may be risks of not only heightened tensions, but also destabilizing the region,” Ms Joly added.

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Kremlin: Tension from Pelosi’s visit ‘should not be underestimated’

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday that the knock-on effects and tension created from Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan “should not be underestimated”.

While taking a question from a reporter who had asked about whether the Kremlin spokesperson believed the world was on the edge of war, Mr Peskov responded by saying that he wouldn’t characterise the current geopolitical tensions as such but echoed earlier comments made by Russia’s foreign minister who said the visit was a “provocation”.

The spokesperson noted that there were no new meetings planned between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping in light of the recent visit.

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Video: Nancy Pelosi sends ‘unequivocal message’ that ‘America stands with Taiwan’

Before taking off for Seoul on Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi vowed solidarity with Taiwan, while China lambasted the House speaker’s trip and launched military drills in response.

“Our delegation came here to send an unequivocal message: America stands with Taiwan,” Ms Pelosi said during a news conference after meeting with the island’s president.

Watch the full clip below:

Nancy Pelosi sends ‘unequivocal message’ that ‘America stands with Taiwan’

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Pelosi: China ‘cannot prevent world leaders’ from travelling to Taiwan

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released an official statement Wednesday as her unannounced trip to Taiwan officially came to a close.

In her remarks, the Democratic lawmaker once again echoed earlier comments made about the self-governing island, emphasising how the trip should be viewed as a statement that “America stands with Taiwan”.

“We came to Taiwan to listen to, learn from and show our support for the people of Taiwan, who have built a thriving Democracy that stands as one of the freest and most open in the world,” the speaker began.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at reacts to Chen Chu, the President of the Control Yuan and Chair of the National Human Rights Commission, during a visit to a human rights museum in Taipei, Taiwan

(AP)

She then listed the security, economic and governing priorities the delegation discussed with their Taiwanese counterparts, before turning to more controversy-stirring matters.

“Sadly, Taiwan has been prevented from participating in global meetings, most recently the World Health Organization, because of objections by the Chinese Communist Party,” the speaker wrote. “While they may prevent Taiwan from sending its leaders to global forums, they cannot prevent world leaders or anyone from traveling to Taiwan to pay respect to its flourishing Democracy, to highlight its many successes and to reaffirm our commitment to continued collaboration.”

Read the full statement here.

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Pelosi Taiwan visit – live: Biden admin says US and China ‘not at the brink’ as House speaker departs – The Independent

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