Dozens of people gathered in downtown San Francisco Monday to protest Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, arguing from her home district that the visit could fuel a potential war with China.
The demonstration included members of the city’s Chinese American community; the anti-war group Code Pink: Women for Peace; and the US-China Peoples Friendship Association, a non-profit organization with branches in the United States.
Julie Tang, a retired San Francisco judge who attended the protest, called Ms. Pelosi’s trip a “very, very bad idea.”
“We are really shocked by her stubbornness that she does not see the risk she is taking and tipping the very delicate balance between China and Taiwan,” said Ms. Tang. “It is completely reckless and unreasonable. It has no apparent use or benefit to America or the world.”
Ms. Tang said she was a lifelong Democrat and had contributed to Ms. Pelosi’s political campaigns in the past and is now reconsidering her party membership. Mrs. Pelosi, she said, “behaved like an imperialist”.
The protest, while relatively small, seemed to reflect how attitudes toward Taiwan have changed in the city, which is home to a growing number of Chinese residents, many of whom were born in mainland China.
In the three and a half decades that Mrs. Pelosi has represented the city in Congress, the connections and sympathies among its voters have definitely shifted away from Taiwan, according to David Lee, a political science lecturer in San Francisco who specializes in voting trends of the Chinese community.
The Chinese community in San Francisco, which strongly supported Taiwan outwardly from the 1950s to the early 1990s, is now much more connected to mainland China, in part because of immigration trends and the rise of China’s power and influence in the world. world. said Lee.
Ms. Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan has not been a central concern among Chinese Americans in San Francisco, said Mr. Lee. But among those actively following the issue, supporters of Taiwan appear to be a small minority. “My sense of the community is that there is more sympathy with the mainland on this issue,” he said.