Aug 2, 2022 - Politics & Policy

McConnell, 25 Senate Republicans say they support Pelosi's Taiwan trip

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the U.S. Capitol in July 2022.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the U.S. Capitol in July 2022. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Several Republicans said Tuesday they support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan that has infuriated the Chinese government, which claims the self-governing island as its own.

What they're saying: "We support Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan," a group of 26 Senate Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), said in a statement.

  • "For decades, members of the United States Congress, including previous Speakers of the House, have travelled to Taiwan. This travel is consistent with the United States’ One China policy to which we are committed," the group added.
  • "We are also committed now, more than ever, to all elements of the Taiwan Relations Act."
  • The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act in part committed the U.S. to maintaining the island's defensive capabilities but did not guarantee that Washington would intervene militarily if China attacked or invaded Taiwan.

The big picture: Pelosi, after landing in Taiwan and becoming the most senior U.S. official to visit since 1997, said her trip "honors America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy."

  • She visited in the face of warnings and threats from Chinese officials that there would be "serious consequences" for the visit, even suggesting a military response.
  • China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Monday that the country's military "won't sit idly by" in response to such "a gross interference in China's internal affairs."
  • She also visited despite President Biden publicly cautioning that the U.S. military felt it was "not a good idea right now."

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