Nancy Pelosi was blasted online after claiming that Communist China was “one of the freest societies in the world” during an NBC News interview.
The House Speaker’s remarks came following her visit to Taiwan last week, which set off tensions in the region, with Chinese military drills encircling the island nation.
“We still support the One China policy. We go there to acknowledge the status quo is what our policy is. There was nothing disruptive about that,” Pelosi said. “It was only about saying China is one of the freest societies in the world.”
Responding to the clip, Donald Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter, “Pelosi thinks that the Communist Dictatorship in China is ‘one of the freest societies in the world,’ which may explain why the Democrats are now emulating the same authoritarian tactics here at home, that the Chinese Communist Party uses against their political opposition!”
“Unbelievable,” Sen. Ted Cruz responded. “Scary. Idiotic.”
Former Trump White House adviser Steven Cheung said, “Disturbing to see anyone, let alone an elected official, repeat Chinese Communist Party talking points. It’s almost like she is compromised.”
Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler slammed Pelosi, “China is currently locking religious minorities in mass internment camps and committing genocide against them,” adding that "Speaker Pelosi believes they are one of the freest societies in the world? This is #CCP propaganda.”
Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan stirred up tensions between the U.S. and China, with Chinese propagandist Hu Xijin of China’s jingoistic state-run Global Times writing, “If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion. The PLA has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making tactical movement of obstruction. If ineffective, then shoot them down.”
In an op-ed for the Washington Post shortly before entering Taiwan, Pelosi explained her reasons for going.
Pelosi highlighted that under the Taiwan Relations Act, the U.S. has vowed to support and defend Taiwan and that the U.S. would “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means … a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States.”
“Today, America must remember that vow. We must stand by Taiwan, which is an island of resilience,” Pelosi wrote. “In recent years, Beijing has dramatically intensified tensions with Taiwan. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has ramped up patrols of bombers, fighter jets and surveillance aircraft near and even over Taiwan’s air defense zone, leading the U.S. Defense Department to conclude that China’s army is ‘likely preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with the PRC by force.’”
“The PRC has also taken the fight into cyberspace, launching scores of attacks on Taiwan government agencies each day. At the same time, Beijing is squeezing Taiwan economically, pressuring global corporations to cut ties with the island, intimidating countries that cooperate with Taiwan, and clamping down on tourism from the PRC,” Pelosi continued. “In the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) accelerating aggression, our congressional delegation’s visit should be seen as an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom.”