Annie Wang, Ms. Yu’s cousin and co-host of the podcast, said she was still processing that the visit actually took place. She was pleasantly surprised that an American official had expressed unambiguous support for Taiwan. She said she hoped that the United States would back up the speech with action.
Taiwanese Americans said they understood fears that Pelosi’s trip would be seen as a provocation. But some were taking their cues from friends and family actually living in Taiwan under the threat of Chinese military action.
“It’s like looking to the captain of the ship: If the captain isn’t panicking, neither am I,” Wang, 42, said.
On Tuesday, Chinese flags in San Francisco fluttered above rooftops, often alongside American flags. Only a few buildings flew Taiwan’s flag. Stephen Chan, the owner of a jewelry store in Chinatown, called Pelosi’s trip “pointless” and compared it to Donald Trump’s description of the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus.” In both cases, Chan said, “Americans were pouring oil over the fire.”
Chieh-Ting Yeh, a Mountain View resident and a co-founder of the Global Taiwan Institute, said that “the question that seems to be on everybody’s mind is: Is this provocative?”
He said that among Taiwanese Americans, “for the most part, everybody’s very happy” that Pelosi followed through after her travel plans became public. Yeh said it would have looked worse if she had been seen as cowed by the Chinese government’s threats.