The possible visit also created political complications for the White House. “The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” President Joe Biden said of the July 20 trip.
Pelosi herself has long criticized China for its human rights record. In 1991, she showed up in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square with a banner that paid tribute to dissidents murdered in pro-democracy protests two years earlier. Chinese authorities briefly detained her and the then officials. Ben Jones (D-Ga.) and John Miller (R-Wash.), during their protest.
“Tiananmen Square is a magnet for us. There’s no way we can come here without being drawn to the place,” Pelosi said at the time.
China has considered Taiwan part of its territory since Mao Zedong established a communist state on the mainland in 1949 and nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan. The United States did not recognize the continent’s government until the 1970s; since then, American governments have maintained indirect and delicate relations with Taiwan.
In her statement, Pelosi said she was traveling with Rep. Gregory Meeks (DN.Y.), Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D- Ill.) and Rep. Andy Kim (DN.J.).