US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday had a slip of tongue — or did she mean it? — as she called China ‘one of the freest societies in the world’ in one of the first interviews since she returned from her controversial trip to Taiwan.
Reportedly, in an interview with NBC’s ‘TODAY’ show, Pelosi not only put her weight behind the ‘one China’ policy but also made the unfortunate gaffe that has caught the internet’s attention.
“We still support the ‘one China’ policy, we go there to acknowledge the status quo is what our policy is, there is nothing disruptive about that. It was only about saying, China is one of the freest societies in the world, don’t take it from me, that’s from Freedom House, it’s a strong democracy, courageous people,” said Pelosi.
However, soon after Pelosi’s gaffe, Drew Hammill, her deputy chief of staff took to Twitter to clear the air and present her original stance.
“The Speaker is referencing Taiwan. The Speaker’s record of speaking out against the Chinese Communist Party for 35 years in the Congress is unsurpassed,” tweeted Hammill.
While Pelosi quoted Freedom House, it is pertinent to note that the DC-based non-profit does not list China as a free country. In fact, China and its communist government are classed as an ‘authoritarian regime’ on the NGO’s website.
“The ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues to tighten control over all aspects of life and governance, including the state bureaucracy, the media, online speech, religious practice, universities, businesses, and civil society associations, and it has undermined an earlier series of modest rule-of-law reforms,” reads the website.
Read More: Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan trip provokes China: A win for her, but a headache for the region
Pelosi’s Taiwan visit
As reported by WION, Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan became a flashpoint between US and China. Immediately after landing in Taipei, Pelosi stated that US was not contradicting any longstanding policy by visiting Taiwan.
However, China took offence to the visit and started with its most-extensive military drill surrounding the island nation. The four-day exercise ended on Sunday but Beijing quickly announced that more such exercises were in the pipeline.
In Pics| From Singapore to Malaysia to Taiwan to South Korea to Japan: Nancy Pelosi’s whirlwind Asia-pacific tour
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