NewsWho is Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful...

Who is Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful women in the United States

It is the 2020 State of the Union address, the equivalent of the government report in the United States. As then-President Donald Trump finishes his speech and Vice President Mike Pence applauds him, Nancy Pelosi —the Speaker of the House of Representatives—starts ripping up the copy of the report she just heard. The president doesn’t even notice, as he smiles and applauds, but the cameras are focused on the Democrat.

“It was the polite thing to do” after that “dirty speech,” Pelosi later explained to reporters.

This scene, which became an instant meme, is the perfect example of the complicated relationship, almost a feud, that the highest-ranking Democrat had with the former president of the United States, Donald Trump.

Now, in a new provocative gesture, the veteran legislator landed in Taiwan on Tuesday night (local time), despite the many warnings against the Chinese government made in recent days.

However, this disdain for Beijing is not surprising. Already in the past, the representative for California has expressed her rejection of China’s actions against the human rights of the inhabitants of Tibet or Xiangyang.

Next, we tell who this representative is, one of the most powerful women in the United States.

What has Pelosi said about China?

This is not the first time that Nancy Pelosi has angered China.

She has been infuriated by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives in the past by holding a banner in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square or meeting with the Dalai Lama. Throughout his career, he has not missed an opportunity to rebuke Beijing for what he considers a dismal record on human rights and democracy.

As a young congresswoman she repeatedly denounced the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing. He called it a “massacre” and accused the Chinese security services of carrying out “secret executions”.

“The human rights of Chinese people are not an internal matter,” he declared. Since then, Pelosi has criticized Chinese leaders and has met with political and religious dissidents, as well as the Dalai Lama. He also called the treatment of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region “genocide.”

Two years after the Tiananmen crackdown, he visited China with two other members of Congress at an official invitation. But he angered his hosts by visiting the famous square and laying flowers at a martyrs’ monument with a banner reading “To those who died for democracy in China.”

After the Chinese police briefly detained the US congressmen, he told the press: “They have been telling us for two days that there is freedom of expression in China. This does not fit what they told us.”

At first it could be seen as motivated by political interest, given that Pelosi represents San Francisco in Congress, with a sizeable Chinese community that in the 1980s was made up mostly of people who fled Communist China or had roots in Taiwan and Hong Kong, much freer.

But after 35 years, Pelosi has proven to be a staunch defender of human rights in China and does not seem to care too much about the impact of her actions on diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing.

He opposed China hosting the Olympics and has advocated a tough trade deal for the country because of the human rights situation.

In 2010, he traveled to Oslo to present the Nobel Peace Prize to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Every year the violence of the army against the population in Tiananmen and the long prison sentences against dissidents stand out in Congress.

One of her first foreign trips as Speaker of the House of Representatives was to Dharamsala, India, to meet the Dalai Lama, whom she had hosted in Washington a year earlier. He said he was there to shed light on “the truth of what is happening in Tibet,” where Beijing is accused of suppressing local culture.

“If freedom-loving people in the world do not speak out against Chinese oppression in China and Tibet, we will have lost all moral authority to speak out on behalf of human rights anywhere in the world,” he said.

According to the press, President Joe Biden, a close ally of Pelosi, hoped to dissuade her from traveling to Taiwan, to avoid angering China at a time when the United States is involved in the war in Ukraine after the Russian invasion.

But Pelosi stood her ground. He wrote in The Washington Post that since his first visit to Tiananmen Square, “Beijing’s dismal human rights record and disregard for the rule of law continues as President Xi Jinping tightens his grip on power.”

He criticized the political repression in Hong Kong and Tibet and the “genocide” in Xinjiang. “We make this trip at a time when the world is facing a choice between autocracy and democracy” and it is “essential to make it clear that we will never give in to autocrats,” he said.

What is Nancy Pelosi’s political career?

Nancy Pelosi is a representation of the political establishment in Washington. The Democrat has represented the 12th District of San Francisco, California since 1987, which makes her one of the people who best knows the workings of the Capitol.

Pelosi, 82, has already made history twice. The first was when in January 2007 she was the first woman to be the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the second was in 2019, when she became the first person over 60 to preside over the United States House of Representatives .

That is no small thing. The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the third most powerful person in the United States, after the President and Vice President.

Until Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021, Nancy Pelosi was the highest-ranking elected woman in American history.

From a Catholic family, like that of President Joe Biden, Pelosi showed her ambition to reach the highest ranking positions since she was a child.

“When I was a child, my mother always wanted me to become a nun. I never wanted to be a nun, I thought I might want to be a priest because he seemed to have a little more power there, a little more discretion over what goes on. in the parish,” Pelosi said in an interview with a Catholic newspaper in 2003.

His political explosion had to wait many years. The future representative studied Political Science at Trinity University in Washington DC, a Catholic college for women. He interned for Sen. Daniel Brewster, a Democrat from Maryland, in the 1960s.

San Francisco, California, where she moved already married, was key to politics. There he began to climb positions in the Democratic Party.

“Pelosi built a reputation for two complementary strengths: carving out constituencies among the disparate interests of the Democratic Party in Northern California, and as a formidable fundraiser. Those talents helped propel her into the party’s regional leadership and then, in 1987, positioned her well to win a seat in Congress” which she has held ever since, The Guardian article states. Pelosi was then 47 years old.

The congresswoman has paid for most of her campaigns with the family fortune, for which she owes little political favors. According to the Los Angeles Times, the representative has a net worth of 16 million dollars, while her husband Paul Pelosi had 27 million assets as of 2020. This fortune, however, has been one of the reasons for attacks by Republicans against him.

In 2002, she became the first woman to lead Democrats in the House of Representatives. In that post, she was one of the strongest opponents of the Iraq war and George W. Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security.

“Bush is an incompetent leader. In fact, he is not a leader. He is a person who has no judgment, experience or knowledge on the issues he has decided,” Pelosi wrote in an article for the San Francisco Chronicle in November 2004.

As the leader of the House of Representatives during the first half of the Obama administration, she was one of the main promoters of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, as well as economic recovery laws, such as the Dodd-Frank Reform Act. to Wall Street.

However, the Democrats lost the House majority in the 2010 midterm elections, so much of their role was to try to contain Republican attacks and obstruction of the Obama administration.

In 2018, the Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives. Pelosi led a caucus with new faces, such as New Yorker Alexandria Ocasio Cortés.

He never had a good relationship with Donald Trump.

On September 24, 2019, Democrats in the House of Representatives launched impeachment proceedings against Trump, after a whistleblower accused the president of pressuring his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate corruption by Joe Biden. A few days later, the Democrats rejected the withdrawal of US soldiers announced by Donald Trump.

In a meeting with Democratic leaders, Trump showered his opponents with insults. He then posted a photo of Pelosi pointing at him, in an attempt to portray her as nervous and unsteady. Far from being upset, the congresswoman thanked him for the new profile picture and used the image to show her strength against Trump.

Pelosi twice led the political trials against Trump, in 2020 and in 2021, however, neither of them ended in a sentence against the president, thanks to the strength of the majority of Republican congressmen.

The representative began 2021 with her reelection as president of the Lower House for two more years, despite resistance from the most progressive wing of the Democratic Party. A few days later, on January 6, 2021, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol as Congress was in session to confirm Biden’s victory.

His office was one of the most attacked. One of the assailants took photos of himself sitting at his desk and stole some of his mail.

Where does Pelosi come from?

When it is said that Nancy Pelosi (1940) has been involved in politics forever, it is literal. His father, Thomas D’Alessandro Jr., was a prominent politician in the Italian-American community who served for 12 years as mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, his hometown. He represented the city for five terms in Congress.

According to an article in The Guardian , the father of the current speaker of the House of Representatives was an enthusiast of Franklin Roosevelt’s social justice policies to improve the lives of people who needed him most.

D’Alessandro’s children—six boys and the only girl, Nancy—always accompanied their father to political rallies. In addition to Pelosi, her brother Thomas D’Alessandro III also followed in politics. He was mayor of Baltimore.

Nancy Pelosi married real estate developer Paul Pelosi in 1963, and her political career hit a hiatus. The couple had five children. The family moved to San Francisco, California 14 years later.

With information from AFP

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