by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Nancy Pelosi faced significant resistance to her Taiwan travel plans, from the White House to the Chinese foreign ministry. Senior administration officials sought to deter her from making the trip, briefing her on the risks, while Communist Chinese propagandists huffed and puffed about potentially shooting down the plane on which she would travel to Taiwan.
The House speaker landed this morning, defying the naysayers and, not for the first time in her career, sticking it to the Chinese Communist Party. But she did not do so as a provocation but rather to support the party’s apparent next intended victim.
In a Washington Post op-ed released after her landing in Taipei, she explained the rationale for her trip. Supporting Taiwan is, she wrote, about standing with its 23 million people “but also to millions of others oppressed and menaced by the PRC”:
“Thirty years ago, I traveled in a bipartisan congressional delegation to China, where, in Tiananmen Square, we unfurled a black-and-white banner that read, ‘To those who died for democracy in China.’ Uniformed police pursued us as we left the square. Since then, Beijing’s abysmal human rights record and disregard for the rule of law continue, as President Xi Jinping tightens his grip on power.
“The CCP’s brutal crackdown against Hong Kong’s political freedoms and human rights — even arresting Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen — cast the promises of “one-country, two-systems” into the dustbin. 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 CCP continues to target and arrest activists, religious-freedom leaders and others who dare to defy the regime.
“We cannot stand by as the CCP proceeds to threaten Taiwan — and democracy itself.”