On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and 25 other Republican senators issued a statement supporting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for visiting Taiwan, demonstrating the bipartisan consensus for ratcheting up tensions with China.
“We support Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan,” the statement reads. “For decades, members of the United States Congress, including previous speakers of the House, have traveled to Taiwan.”
Pelosi is the first House speaker to visit Taiwan since Newt Gingrich made the trip in 1997. To Beijing, her visit signals that the US government is moving away from the one-China policy.
The Republican senators insist that Pelosi’s travel “is consistent with the United States’ One China policy to which we are committed. We are also committed now, more than ever, to all elements of the Taiwan Relations Act.”
Pelosi touched down in Taiwan on Tuesday, and China has responded to her provocation by launching military drills, including live-fire exercises, all around the island. Pelosi made the trip despite warnings from the Biden administration that it could provoke a major crisis across the Taiwan Strait.
Since rumors first emerged that Pelosi would be traveling to Taiwan, she has received strong support from Republicans, including former Trump administration officials. “Glad to see Speaker Pelosi follow through today on her visit to Taiwan,” former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.