7 times when Nancy Pelosi angered China
Washington, Aug 02: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday, becoming the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China, which quickly announced that it would conduct military maneuvers in retaliation for her presence.
Her visit has ratcheted up tension between China and the United States because China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, and it views visits by foreign government officials as recognition of the island's sovereignty.
In a statement issued just after her arrival, Pelosi said the visit "honors America's unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan's vibrant democracy." The Biden administration did not explicitly urge Pelosi to call off her plans.
It repeatedly and publicly assured Beijing that the visit would not signal any change in US policy on Taiwan. Soon after Pelosi's arrival, China announced a series of military operations and drills, which followed promises of "resolute and strong measures" if Pelosi went through with her visit.
However, this is not the first time that the 82-year-old politician has angered Beijing.
Nancy Pelosi, who has been a critic of China for a long time, had left China angry and fuming in 1991 when she unfurled a small, hand-painted banner which read: "To those who died for democracy in China."
It was her way of honouring the protesters who were crushed by Communist Party forces in 1989.
In 1993, she had opposed China's attempt to host the Olympics over human rights abuses.
15 years later, she urged the then US President George W Bush to boycott China's Summer Olympics hosted by China.
Likewise in 2022, she called for a diplomatic boycott of Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics over China's repression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
In 2002, she tried to give four letters to then-President Hu Jintao over the detention and imprisonment of activists in China and Tibet, and called for their release. However, he had refused to accept the letters.
Seven years later, she hand-delivered a letter calling for the release of political prisoners.
In 2015, she had paid a visit to Tibet, the first such visit since widespread unrest in 2008, and met Dalai Lama, whom China views as "separatist."