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Nancy Pelosi Calls China ‘One of the Freest Societies’, Slip of Tongue Video Goes Viral

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Last Updated: August 10, 2022, 16:01 IST

Pelosi made the comments a week after returning from her Taiwan trip. (Credits: Reuters)

Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff Drew Hammill said that she had meant to call Taiwan, not China, ‘one of the freest societies in the world’.

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently called China “one of the freest societies in the world”, raising some eyebrows. Pelosi made the comments on NBC’s Today show a week after returning from her Taiwan trip. Since she was speaking on Taiwan, it could be a gaffe wherein she mixed up China and Taiwan. She also threw her weight behind the One China policy. Calling “China” one of the freest societies in the world, she added, “Don’t take it from me. That’s from Freedom House.”

Soon after, Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, took to Twitter to clarify: “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.”

As per a Skynews report, Freedom House ranks China 17th last on its list of 210 countries and territories in terms of total score on political rights and civil liberties. Taiwan, on that list, comes in at the 18th spot from the top.

DC-based nonprofit Freedom House classifies China as having an “authoritarian regime” on its website. It also says that the regime has become “increasingly repressive in recent years”. It decries the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and leader Xi Jinping.

Pelosi’s Taiwan visit erupted high voltage drama between the United States and China. Beijing had warned that Washington would pay the price if Pelosi went to Taiwan. However, she said her trip “in no way” contradicted official US policy, which recognises “one China” and has not officially recognised Taiwan as an independent state.

Pelosi, who became the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years, arrived by the US Air Force plane and was received at the tarmac of the Taipei airport by Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu.

Beijing routinely protests any foreign dignitaries’ visits to Taiwan, which claims it’s own and firmly insists all countries follow the One China policy acknowledging that the breakaway province is part of its mainland.

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