UPDATED 11:40 AM PT – Tuesday, August 2, 2022
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) safely landed in Taipei, Taiwan. She arrived Tuesday after much back and forth over whether she would heed threats from Mainland China.
In a statement released after she landed, Pelosi said the congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy. She added, her discussions with leadership there will focus on reaffirming support and promoting shared interests, including a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Pelosi said America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.
Our visit is one of several Congressional delegations to Taiwan – and it in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, U.S.-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 2, 2022
Meanwhile, 26 Republicans senators are standing behind Pelosi’s decision to visit Taiwan. The group, including Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa ) and John Thune (R-S.D.) released a joint statement on the trip Tuesday. They noted that this trip is in line with the One-China policy the US remains committed to because for decades members of Congress, including previous Speakers of the House, have traveled to.
Specifically, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) noted, “at the end of the day, you do not want the Chinese Communist Party dictating to senior American leaders where they can and cannot travel.”
“My view, and I think the view of a number of senators, is that we should close ranks now and not let the Chinese Communist Party try to drive wedges between American elected officials or the White House on whether or not she should be there,” stated Sullivan. “She’s there. We’re supporting the trip and we’re closing ranks behind her.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) was notably not among the signatories, but has showed support on Twitter. He said the threats made by the Chinese ambassador to the US are unacceptable. The Florida lawmaker noted, “any escalation will be the fault of Communist China alone, but the U.S. will not ignore aggression.”