Senator Ted Cruz took to social media to ask if the Chinese government had influence over a speech former Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi gave Sunday at the South by Southwest conference, where she urged the public to ” don’t go after China.”
The comment came as the Democratic lawmaker pushed for global cooperation to stop climate change during a series on the “Future of Democracy.”
“Here’s the point, you can’t just go after China with a bat. You have to say, ‘We have to live on this planet together. How can we work together to save the planet from climate change?'” Pelosi asked Line Hotel Austin.
She added: “They are essential in that discussion. How can we work with them on issues if we can find common ground.”
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Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, suspected former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., of delivering a speech that was endorsed or authored by China. (Getty Images)
Cruz, R-Texas, shared an excerpt of her comments on Twitter on Monday asking, “Did the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) write these comments?”
Presented by The Atlantic, the SXSW sessions will include sessions on the evolution of US political parties and the state of democracy in the US and around the world.
Pelosi, D-Calif., participated in a panel discussion where she also discussed changes in the Republican Party and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
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As for Republicans, Pelosi said the party has turned “into a cult.”
“As you saw on January 6, there is a sentiment in our country that is anarchic,” the former speaker of the House said. “I keep telling my Republican friends — and I have a few — take your party back.”
She added: “You’re a big old party, you’ve done great things for our country, the country needs a strong Republican Party. Instead you’ve turned into a cult, into a thug.”
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Pelosi also said the party is led by “radical, right-wing, destructive” leaders.
The former House Speaker’s comments on China come as relations in the Indo-Pacific region remain tense, with Chinese President Xi Jinping taking an increasingly aggressive stance towards Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Then-Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at the President’s Office on August 3, 2022 in Taipei, Taiwan. (Chien Chih-Hung/Office of the President via Getty Images)
Pelosi was personally responsible for some of these tensions when she visited Taiwan in August 2022, sparking international backlash.
China has also enraged US lawmakers with its support for Russia — though it has publicly called for a peaceful end to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
President Xi’s only international trip during the global COVID pandemic was also with Russian and Iranian leaders, further straining diplomatic tensions with the West.
Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at the Tampa Convention Center on July 22, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
And in the Pacific, North Korea continues to threaten stability with continued ballistic missile testing and the further development of its nuclear program. The most recent launch was Tuesday.
The US Indo-Pacific Command said Tuesday’s launches pose no direct threat to its allies.
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Meanwhile, Japan, South Korea and the US continue to strengthen their own relations, and President Biden has sent ships to the region to aid allies.
People stand by a television showing a newscast showing archive footage of a North Korean missile test, at a train station in Seoul on March 14, 2023. (ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)
Washington and Seoul are currently conducting joint military operations over the Korean Peninsula. The Pentagon has also requested nearly $1 trillion in defense spending to address this perceived threat in the Pacific.
The Associated Press contributed to this report