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.