The possible visit has 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 trip July 20.
Pelosi herself has long been a critic of China for its record on human rights. In 1991, she showed up in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square with a banner that paid tribute to dissidents who were murdered in pro-democracy protests there two years earlier. Chinese authorities briefly detained her, as well as then-Reps. Ben Jones (D-Ga.) and John Miller (R-Wash.), over their protest.
“Tiananmen Square is a magnet for us. There is no way we could come here without being drawn to the square,” 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 U.S. did not recognize the mainland’s government until the 1970s; since then, American governments have had awkward, indirect relationships with Taiwan.
In her statement, Pelosi said she was traveling with Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.).