Nancy Pelosi Defends Timing of Her Taiwan Trip When Grilled by Savannah Guthrie on 'Today' Show

·2 min read
Speaker of the U.S. House Of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), speaks after receiving the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon, Taiwan’s highest civilian honour, from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, at the president's office on August 03, 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan. Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday as part of a tour of Asia aimed at reassuring allies in the region, as China made it clear that her visit to Taiwan would be seen in a negative light.
Speaker of the U.S. House Of Representatives Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), speaks after receiving the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon, Taiwan’s highest civilian honour, from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, at the president's office on August 03, 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan. Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday as part of a tour of Asia aimed at reassuring allies in the region, as China made it clear that her visit to Taiwan would be seen in a negative light.

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On Tuesday morning, Rep. Nancy Pelosi stood by her recent, controversial trip to Taiwan on the Today show.

Last week, Pelosi traveled to Taiwan for a visit she said "honors America's unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan's vibrant Democracy." In the aftermath of her visit, tension in the region has risen with China announcing new military exercises off the Taiwanese coast.

The House Speaker told Savannah Guthrie that the trip "followed the President's direction that we would have a focus on the Asian Pacific," adding that "it's important to us to have parliamentary to parliamentary exchanges."

RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Safely Touches Down in Taiwan, Unfazed by China's Warnings of Retaliation

Pelosi's trip was controversial due to the reaction it sparked from China, which has resulted in new military drills and import restrictions on Taiwan's citrus and fish. Yesterday, The Taiwanese defense ministry "said it detected 66 aircraft and 14 warships conducting naval and air exercises," reported the Taipei Times.

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Guthrie highlighted some of the "trade offs" that came with the trip including the "series of stunningly aggressive military moves" made by China since Pelosi's departure. She then asked Pelosi if the trip was worth it. "Absolutely, without a question," Pelosi steadfastly replied.

RELATED: Chinese Ambassador Summoned to White House After Missiles Fall Near Taiwan's Coasts

Pelosi told Guthrie, "We were well received. Thousands of people in the streets … the people of Taiwan welcomed the visit."

Taiwan residents' reactions were more wide-ranging and varied, including some individuals supporting her visit and others holding negative signs, with one calling her an "American witch."

RELATED: Nancy Pelosi Says China 'Made a Big Fuss' About Taiwan Visit but Didn't 'Say Anything When the Men Came'

"There's a jolting disconnect between how the outside world perceives Taiwan (as a potential flashpoint for world war), and how we in Taiwan see Taiwan (our dear home where we live)," Taiwanese American journalist Clarissa Wei writes in an essay for CNN.

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She added that Pelosi's visit is a "gesture of solidarity, but the hyperbolic alarms sounding off as a result of her visit only play to China's advantage and supports the illusion that Taiwan is not a democratic country with its own laws and borders."

"If the world truly cares about the well-being of Taiwan, then give us a seat at the table," Wei concluded in her essay.