Despite political pressure at home to keep her from doing so, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally visited Taiwan last week, causing quite a stir. As Pelosi stuck to her guns, her visit was of considerable significance.
Pelosi was born into the D’Alesandro political family. Her father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr, was a US Representative and later mayor of Baltimore for 12 years. Pelosi was elected to the US House of Representatives at the age of 47 after her children were grown, and became the US’ first female House speaker in 2007 after the Democratic Party won the House majority. Today, she is second in line of succession to the presidency, after US Vice President Kamala Harris.
In response to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian (趙立堅) said that “the People’s Liberation Army of China will never sit idly by, and will make resolute response and take strong countermeasures to uphold China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
When speaking with US President Joe Biden on the telephone on July 28, Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) said that “the historical context of the Taiwan question is crystal clear, and so are the fact and status quo that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China.”
Many Taiwanese were confused by Xi’s statement; perhaps he could try to clarify. What is the historical context of the Taiwan question? Is it really a fact that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China? And what exactly is the “status quo” across the Strait?
According to Chinese logic, perhaps the entire European map needs to be redrawn. I remember when China protested a Swedish TV station for not including Taiwan and Tibet on a map of China. Faced with the harsh Chinese condemnation, a Swedish TV host became so exasperated that he simply covered a world map with the Chinese five-star flag, joking that the whole world apparently belonged to China from a historical context.
Despite the Chinese Communist Party’s threats and intimidation, as well as the White House’s doubts, Pelosi insisted on visiting Taiwan to express support to the democratic country. She not only displayed “woman power,” she also showed fearless courage.
Her passion for justice, human rights, democracy, redressing any wrongdoings and having compassion for others shows her wisdom and bravery. She serves as a role model for all women.
Of all the virtues, courage is the highest. Without it, nothing can be done in life. So it was good to see you in Taiwan, Speaker Pelosi, and thank you for your courage.
Maysing Yang is chairwoman of the Asia-Pacific Liberal Women Association and the Dr Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation.
Translated by Eddy Chang
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