Legislators across party lines yesterday welcomed US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, marking the first time in 25 years that an incumbent US House speaker has visited the nation.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) cited the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) support for Pelosi’s visit — including from senior party members KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) and former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) — as evidence that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) foreign diplomacy is on the right course.
Pelosi’s visit has special meaning for Taiwan and the Indo-Pacific region as a whole, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) said.
The visit marks a high point in Taiwan-US relations, Wang said, adding that it underscores the failure of China’s oppressive policies and, more importantly, its strategy against Taiwan and the US.
Pelosi’s visit, especially in the face of Chinese pressure, reinforces the idea that the US is reliable and credible among democratic nations in the Indo-Pacific region, Wang said.
Taiwan welcomes visits from its friends, but urges Washington and Beijing to restrain themselves and respect the autonomy of the Republic of China, KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said.
Photo: Wu Chun-feng, Taipei Times
Taiwan should not be a chip on the table in the great game of the US-China conflict, he said, urging visiting US friends to heed Taiwan’s call for more substantial acts of support.
The signing of a bilateral trade agreement, Taiwan joining the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity or being a part of upcoming Rim of the Pacific exercises would all be welcome news, Chiang said.
The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) also welcomed Pelosi and looks forward to substantial improvements in Taiwan-US relations, TPP caucus convener Chiu Chen-yuan (邱臣遠) said.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
The first visit by a US House speaker in 25 years would be a conclusive sign that the US government and its people support Taiwan’s democracy, Chiu said.
Pelosi’s visit shows that Chinese pressure tactics would not impede US support for Taiwan, New Power Party legislative caucus convener Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said.
It shows that the White House is starting to adjust its policies and outright US support for Taiwan would become the new consensus, Chiu Hsien-chih said.
Meanwhile, Japanese-language Sankei Shinbun Taipei office head Akio Yaita said that Pelosi’s overnight stay in Taipei was a significant breakthrough for Taiwan’s diplomacy, adding that Japanese politicians could observe the same model for visits.
If China failed to stop Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, it would have no leg to stand on to prevent Japanese politicians from visiting Taiwan, Yaita added.
Additional reporting by Chen Yu-fu and CNA
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