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Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan amid US-China tensions

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly news conference in Washington, DC, on January 31, 2019.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks during her weekly news conference in Washington, DC, on January 31, 2019. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Nancy Pelosi is a longstanding critic of the Chinese Communist Party, reiterating on Tuesday that the US needed to stand by Taiwan as the island faces rising threats from Beijing

Pelosi had originally planned to visit the island in April, before she tested positive for Covid-19.

She has also previously denounced Beijing’s human rights record, and met with pro-democracy dissidents and the Dalai Lama — the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader who remains a thorn in the side of the Chinese government.

In 1991, Pelosi unfurled a banner in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to commemorate victims of the 1989 massacre of pro-democracy protesters. More recently, she has voiced support for the 2019 pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Pelosi’s political tenure: The California Democrat comes from a political family; her father had served as the mayor of Baltimore, and represented the city in Congress for five terms, according to Pelosi’s official House of Representatives biography. Her brother also served as the Baltimore mayor.

Pelosi was first elected to Congress in 1987, and elected as House Speaker in 2007 during the Bush administration. She is now in her fourth term as Speaker.

She is the third-highest ranking official in the US government, and the highest-ranking figure to visit Taiwan in 25 years since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s trip in 1997.


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