by Katie Forster / Tomohiro OSAKI
TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the United States will “not allow” China to isolate Taiwan, after her visit to the self-ruled island infuriated Beijing.
“They may try to keep Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us to travel there,” she told reporters in Tokyo.
“We had high-level visits, senators in the spring, the bi-partisan way, continuing visits, and we will not allow them to isolate Taiwan.”
Pelosi is on the final leg of an Asian tour that included a stop in Taiwan as she defied stern threats from China to become the highest-profile US official to visit the island in years.
Beijing, which views Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to retake the self-ruled island one day — by force if necessary — has launched its largest-ever military exercises around the island in response.
Pelosi did not comment directly on the drills but reiterated that her visits to Asian countries including Taiwan were “not about changing the status quo” in the region.
“It is about… all of the pieces of legislation and agreements that have established what our relationship is. To have peace in the Taiwan Strait and have the status quo prevail,” she said.
Tokyo said Thursday that five Chinese missiles were believed to have fallen in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Pelosi spoke after meeting Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who called China’s missile launches a “serious problem that impacts our national security and the safety of our citizens”.
Kishida said he had told Pelosi that Japan has “called for the immediate cancellation of the military drills”.
The 82-year-old American politician arrived Thursday night from South Korea, another key US ally, where she visited the border with the nuclear-armed North.
It is her first time in Japan since 2015.
© Agence France-Presse