The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday extended regards on behalf of Taiwan to US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has tested positive for COVID-19, requiring her to cancel a planned visit to Asia, which reportedly would have included a stop in Taiwan.
Pelosi, 82, was scheduled to lead a US Congressional delegation to visit Japan this weekend and was reportedly planning to arrive in Taiwan on Sunday.
However, the trip has been postponed because she has tested positive for COVID-19, her spokesman Drew Hammill said on Thursday.
“After testing negative this week, Speaker Pelosi received a positive test result for COVID-19 and is currently asymptomatic. The Speaker is fully vaccinated and boosted, and is thankful for the robust protection the vaccine has provided,” Hammill wrote on Twitter.
The speaker is quarantining according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance, and encourages everyone to get vaccinated and boosted, as well as get tested regularly, Hammill said in his messages on Twitter.
Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) gave her sincere regards to Pelosi, who is a “truly good friend of Taiwan,” and wished Pelosi well.
Neither Hammill nor Chang confirmed reports that Pelosi had planned to make a stop in Taiwan. Pelosi would have been the highest-ranking elected official from the US to visit Taiwan in the past few years.
Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the US, Taiwan’s de facto embassy, conveys its well-wishes to Pelosi.
China reacted strongly to the idea of Pelosi visiting Taiwan. Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) said on Thursday that the visit would be a “malicious provocation to China’s sovereignty” and “consequences will be borne by the US.”
Wang’s comment was absurd, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said.
China’s authoritarian regime does not understand democracy nor does it know how to respect public opinion, the ministry in Taipei said, adding that Beijing only knows how to browbeat other nations and their democratically elected officials.
Taiwan is not subordinate to the People’s Republic of China, nor does Taiwan claim ownership of China, it said, adding that Beijing’s interference in Taiwan’s relations with foreign countries through bullying and threats only repulses the international community.
Such rhetoric does not contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region, and is causing cross-strait relations to deteriorate, it said.
Additional reporting by Yang Cheng-yu
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