The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued an infuriated statement on Tuesday condemning Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for visiting Taiwan and insisting that President Joe Biden “has a responsibility to stop” lawmakers from traveling to places Beijing disapproves of.
Pelosi and a small congressional delegation landed in Taiwan on Tuesday evening local time after weeks of speculation, and no confirmation from the Speaker’s office, regarding a potential trip to the island nation. Pelosi published a photo of the delegation on social media describing Taiwan as a “robust, vibrant democracy” and an “important partner” of the United States.
Our visit reiterates that America stands with Taiwan: a robust, vibrant democracy and our important partner in the Indo-Pacific. pic.twitter.com/2sSRJXN6ST
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 2, 2022
America does not recognize Taiwan as a country, thanks to a policy implemented during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, because doing so would automatically dissolve all diplomatic ties with China. Taiwan is a democratic, sovereign nation off the coast of China that China illegally claims as a “province.” The Chinese Communist Party insists that all countries that seek diplomatic relations with it ignore the reality of Taiwan’s existence as an independent country.
In its missive on Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry described Pelosi’s visit to the country as a “serious violation of the one-China principle” – Beijing’s false claim that Taiwan is a province of China – and that it “gravely underminds peace and stability.” The communists also claimed that Pelosi was sending “a seriously wrong signal to the separatist forces,” referring to the legitimate, democratically elected government of Taiwan.
“Since Speaker Pelosi is the incumbent leader of the U.S. Congress, her visit to and activities in Taiwan, in whatever form and for whatever reason, is a major political provocation to upgrade U.S. official exchanges with Taiwan,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed. “China absolutely does not accept this, and the Chinese people absolutely reject this.”
The Foreign Ministry, which represents a totalitarian communist regime, then went on to complain that leftist President Joe Biden should have intervened to ban Pelosi from traveling, a significant misunderstanding of separation of powers – which does not exist in communist China.
“China is all along opposed to the visit to Taiwan by U.S. congressional members, and the U.S. executive branch has the responsibility to stop such visit [sic],” the statement read.
The Foreign Ministry also repeated the now-common Chinese government refrain that anyone who supports Taiwan will die a gruesome death.
“These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it,” the statement read.
Communist dictator Xi Jinping reportedly issued a similar threat in conversation with Biden last week. According to Chinese state media, Xi said, “Those who play with fire will perish by it. It is hoped that the US will be clear-eyed about this.”
Threatening to burn supporters of Taiwan alive is a slightly less aggressive message than Xi Jinping’s threat in a 2019 speech that anyone supporting Taiwan – or the pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong, Tibet, and East Turkistan – would have their “bones ground to powder.”
On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry insisted that China would “take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity in response to the U.S. Speaker’s visit” and added, “All the consequences arising therefrom must be borne by the U.S. side and the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces [the legitimate government of the Republic of China].”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi independently issued belligerent comments on Tuesday at a separate meeting, not mentioning Pelosi by name, according to the Communist Party’s People’s Daily.
“Some in the United States are constantly challenging China’s sovereignty on the Taiwan question, hollowing out the one-China policy and even deliberately stirring up troubles in the Taiwan Strait, he noted,” the state propaganda outlet relayed. “The Chinese people will never accept this and the international community also scorns such groundless provocation, he told reporters.”
Wang reportedly called America in general “shameful” and “treacherous” for allowing visits to Taiwan and referred to any support for the country as “bullying.” America, he concluded, “is the biggest destroyer of peace today.”
Pelosi and her delegation issued a statement on their commitment to Taiwan upon arriving on the island on Tuesday that notably did not describe Taiwan as a country and emphasized only its status as a “democracy.”
“Our visit is part of our broader trip to the Indo-Pacific — including Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan — focused on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance,” the statement read. “Our discussions with Taiwan leadership will focus on reaffirming our support for our partner and on promoting our shared interests… 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.”
The statement emphasized that the visit “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,” meaning that Pelosi and the other lawmakers do not recognize Taiwan as a country.
In a more extended opinion piece published Tuesday in the Washington Post, Pelosi condemned communist China’s “accelerating aggression” against China and described the visit as “an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom.”
She also tied the visit to Taiwan to support for other anti-communist movements in China and its occupied regions.
“The CCP’s [Chinese Communist Party’s] brutal crackdown against Hong Kong’s political freedoms and human rights — even arresting Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen,” Pelosi wrote. “In Tibet, the CCP has long led a campaign to erase the Tibetan people’s language, culture, religion and identity. In Xinjiang, Beijing is perpetrating genocide against Muslim Uyghurs and other minorities.”
“And throughout the mainland [the legal territory of China], the CCP continues to target and arrest activists, religious-freedom leaders and others who dare to defy the regime,” she concluded. “We cannot stand by as the CCP proceeds to threaten Taiwan — and democracy itself.”