Nancy Patricia Pelosi is an American Democrat politician who is the current speaker in the United States House of Representatives. She has been in the role since 2019 and had an earlier stint from 2007 to 2011. She is the only woman to have served as speaker in the House.
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During her first stint as speaker she helped pass many of the Obama administration’s landmark bills such as the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 Tax Relief Act, the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act as well as the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. While she lost the speakership in 2011 after Republicans won the house majority, the politician remained the House minority leader. In 2019, she was reelected to the speakership and was instrumental in leading the House of Representatives to impeach President Donald Trump. Both times she led impeachment hearings, in 2019 and again in 2021, the motion passed in the lower House but the Senate acquitted him both times.
The politician has long been a strong critic of China since she joined Congress, going as far as unfurling a banner on the Tiananmen Square massacare in 1989. In the past she has urged the United States to discontinue trading with the Asian nation until it improves its human rights track record. In addition, she has been a strong supporter of the 2019 Hong Kong protests and had met with pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong when the latter had visited Capitol Hill. In response, Chinese state media accused her of “backing and encouraging radical activists”, according to a report from CBS News.
Most recently, Pelosi announced her decision to visit Taiwan, much to China’s displeasure. Her decision is likely to rankle China since the country’s government maintains that Taiwan is officially a part of China. However, Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen has defied Bejing’s threats while favouring democratic values which include a strong social security net and same-sex marriage.
More than anything else, the move will likely be deemed offensive to China since President Joe Biden has been attempting to mend relations with them after the turbulent trade war that the Trump administration had engaged in.