Last Updated: August 02, 2022, 21:35 IST
Amid China’s warnings, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taipei on Tuesday for a visit to Taiwan that pushed the friction between Washington and Beijing to a new level.
Most of Pelosi’s planned meetings, including with President Tsai Ing-wen, were scheduled for Wednesday, a person familiar with her itinerary said.
Pelosi has spent more than three decades in the Congress and has been a vocal opponent of China.
In 1991, she raised a flag in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to honour the victims of the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
“Our delegation’s visit to Taiwan honours America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant Democracy. Our discussions with Taiwan leadership reaffirm our support for our partner & promote our shared interests, including advancing a free & open Indo-Pacific region,” she tweeted.
28 years ago, we traveled to Tiananmen Square to honor the courage & sacrifice of the students, workers & ordinary citizens who stood for the dignity & human rights that all people deserve. To this day, we remain committed to sharing their story with the world. #Tiananmen30 pic.twitter.com/7UqiJVRS3t
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) June 4, 2019
Here’s all you need to know about Pelosi:
- Pelosi is the 52nd Speaker of the House of Representatives, having made history in 2007 when she became the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House.
- In January 2019, Pelosi made history again when she regained her position second-in-line to the presidency – the first person to do so in more than six decades.
- Her late father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., served as Mayor of Baltimore for 12 years, after representing the city for five terms in the Congress. Her brother, Thomas D’Alesandro III, also served as the Mayor of Baltimore.
- She graduated from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Paul Pelosi, a native of San Francisco, have five grown children and nine grandchildren.
- For 35 years, Pelosi has represented San Francisco, California’s 12th District, in the Congress.
- She is second in line for the presidency after Vice-President Kamala Harris, and would be the most senior US politician to travel to the island since her predecessor Newt Gingrich in 1997.
- She has led House Democrats for 19 years and previously served as the House Democratic Whip.
Is there a real possibility of military action from China over Pelosi’s Taiwan visit? CNN’s Will Ripley shares his inputs
“Unlikely that China will enter into military activities”: Ecognosis Advisory CEO Andrew Freris
— News18 (@CNNnews18) August 2, 2022
- She played a role in key legislations under two Democratic administrations, including the Affordable Care Act and the American Rescue Plan, according to her website. It says this rescue plan turned the tide of the pandemic — getting vaccines into hundreds of millions of Americans’ arms, delivering direct assistance to families in need, creating millions of new jobs, supporting teachers, police officers, firefighters, transit workers and other frontline heroes, and returning children safely to schools. She also engineered the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in the House.
- Now in her fourth term as Speaker, Pelosi is working to lower costs, increase paychecks and create jobs for American families, according to her website.
- In the 111th Congress, Pelosi led the House passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to rescue the nation from the depths of the financial crisis.
- In 2013, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the American women’s rights movement.
- As Democratic Leader in 2017, Pelosi led the charge to defend American families from Republicans’ “Trumpcare” legislation.
- Pelosi has made the climate crisis the flagship issue of her Speakership. In 2007, she enacted a comprehensive energy legislation that raised vehicle fuel efficiency standards for the first time in three decades and made a game-changing commitment to America’s homegrown biofuels.
- In 2009, she led the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. In 2021, under her leadership, the House passed the largest climate investment in history: half a trillion dollars to accelerate the nation’s transition to a clean energy future while helping communities across the country improve resiliency to climate disaster.
- Pelosi authored legislation to create the Presidio Trust and transform San Francisco’s former military post into an urban national park.
- She also secured passage of the “Pelosi Amendment” in 1989, now a global tool used to assess the potential environmental impacts of development.
- In 2021, after President Trump incited a violent insurrection targeting the U.S. Capitol and sought to overturn the results of the election, the House impeached Trump a second time. Speaker Pelosi then led the House in creating the bipartisan Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 attack.
- Pelosi is the longest-serving Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in history: serving from 1993-2003, including as Ranking Member from 2000-2003, and continues to serve in an ex officio capacity.
- She spearheaded the historic repeal of the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, allowing gay and lesbian Americans to openly serve their country.