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In Japan, Pelosi says US won't let China 'isolate' Taiwan

August 5, 2022

The US House Speaker flew to Tokyo for the last leg of her Asia trip, which included a controversial visit to Taiwan. Pelosi says the US doesn't seek to "change the status quo" in the region.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in front of an American flag and a Japanese flag
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on ThursdayImage: Kyodo/dpa/picture alliance

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that the United States will "not allow" China to isolate Taiwan.

Pelosi made the comments in a visit to Japan's capital, Tokyo, following a trip to Taiwan that infuriated Beijing.

What did Pelosi say?

"They may try to keep Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us to travel there," Pelosi said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo.

"We had high-level visits, senators in the spring, the bi-partisan way, continuing visits, and we will not allow them to isolate Taiwan," the US lawmaker said.

Pelosi said that her visits to Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan were "not about changing the status quo."

"We have said from the start that our representation here is not about changing the status quo here in Asia, changing the status quo in Taiwan," she said, responding to accusations that her trip showed that the US supports Taiwan's independence.

"It is about the Taiwan Relations Act, US-China policy, all of the pieces of legislation and agreements that have established what our relationship is. To have peace in the Taiwan Strait and have the status quo prevail."

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Greogry Meeks at the US Embassy in Tokyo in front of a Japanese flag and arrows painted on a wall
Nancy Pelosi contends that the US doesn't seek to change the "status quo" in East AsiaImage: Issei Kato/REUTERS

Where has Pelosi been?

Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday and expressed "unwavering" support for the island, praising it as "one of the freest societies in the world."

China considers Taiwan to be part of its territory. In response to Pelosi's visit, Beijing began a series of live fire drills around the island. China's state-run Xinhua news agency said that over 100 warplanes and 10 ships were involved in the exercises.

China's Foreign Ministry said the visit damaged stability in the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from mainland China.

On Thursday, Pelosi met with South Korean leaders in Seoul and visited the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides the country from North Korea.

During the visit, South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo said that Pelosi shared Seoul's concerned over the potential nuclear threat posed by Pyongyang.

Japan says five China missiles landed in its economic zone

Japan, meanwhile, has lodged a formal diplomatic complaint against Beijing after five of China's missiles were believed to have landed in its exclusive economic zone.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called China's fire drills around Taiwan a "serious problem that impacts our national security and the safety of our citizens" while calling for an "immediate cancellation of the military drills."

And US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that China's exercises represent a "significant escalation."

jsi, sdi/rs (AP, AFP)

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