In Chinatown and the Bay Space, Residents React to Pelosi’s Journey

In Chinatown and the Bay Area, Residents React to Pelosi’s Trip

2022-08-05 18:34:03

Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s go to to Taiwan this week drew concern from U.S. allies in Asia, assist from Republican senators and sharp criticism from China.

However what did individuals at house assume? Extra particularly, how did Chinese language Individuals and Taiwanese Individuals within the San Francisco Bay Space reply?

We spoke with residents, whose ideas got here with the layers of nuance befitting a visit fraught with geopolitical implications.

In San Francisco’s Chinatown, America’s oldest and largest, residents reacted with a mix of anger and apprehension. Some mentioned they feared that the journey by Pelosi, their consultant in Congress, might inflame anti-Chinese language sentiment and incite assaults on Asian Individuals.

“At this second, we don’t wish to create any extra destructive emotions in opposition to the Chinese language,” mentioned Melvin Lee, a property developer and a neighborhood chief. “That’s the primary concern.”

The Chinese language neighborhood in San Francisco was outwardly supportive of Taiwan from the Nineteen Fifties to the early Nineties. However right now it’s way more related to mainland China, partly due to immigration developments and the rise of China’s energy and affect on this planet, in accordance with David Lee, a political science lecturer in San Francisco who makes a speciality of voting developments of the Chinese language neighborhood.

Taiwanese Individuals within the Bay Space had a a lot completely different response. A number of mentioned they have been excited by what they thought-about the end result of Pelosi’s a long time of assist for Taiwan.

“The truth that Speaker Pelosi truly visited Taiwan and had public occasions is thrilling,” mentioned Marie Chuang, a council member in Hillsborough, a suburb simply south of San Francisco. “Nancy Pelosi has at all times been very pro-democracy, pro-human rights, so it’s no shock that she needed to make a presence there. She acknowledged the significance of the picture.”

Angela Yu, 42, a Bay Space resident who began a podcast exploring her Taiwanese American id, mentioned it was heartening and “actually significant” to see Pelosi “arise and profess assist for Taiwan,” regardless of discouragement from President Biden.

Annie Wang, Ms. Yu’s cousin and co-host of the podcast, mentioned she was nonetheless processing that the go to truly happened. She was pleasantly shocked that an American official had expressed unambiguous assist for Taiwan. She mentioned she hoped that the US would again up the speech with motion.

Taiwanese Individuals mentioned they understood fears that Pelosi’s journey could be seen as a provocation. However some have been taking their cues from family and friends truly residing in Taiwan beneath the specter of Chinese language navy motion.

“It’s like trying to the captain of the ship: If the captain isn’t panicking, neither am I,” Wang, 42, mentioned.

On Tuesday, Chinese language flags in San Francisco fluttered above rooftops, usually alongside American flags. Only some buildings flew Taiwan’s flag. Stephen Chan, the proprietor of a jewellery retailer in Chinatown, referred to as Pelosi’s journey “pointless” and in contrast it to Donald Trump’s description of the coronavirus because the “Chinese language virus.” In each instances, Chan mentioned, “Individuals have been pouring oil over the fireplace.”

Chieh-Ting Yeh, a Mountain View resident and a co-founder of the International Taiwan Institute, mentioned that “the query that appears to be on everyone’s thoughts is: Is that this provocative?”

He mentioned that amongst Taiwanese Individuals, “for probably the most half, everyone’s very completely satisfied” that Pelosi adopted by way of after her journey plans turned public. Yeh mentioned it could have seemed worse if she had been seen as cowed by the Chinese language authorities’s threats.

Chuang, the Hillsborough council member, mentioned she didn’t assume Pelosi’s go to to Taiwan would grow to be a supply of stress between Taiwanese and Chinese language Individuals.

“There are lots of people that escaped communism and got here to Taiwan, then ended up within the Bay Space or the US,” she mentioned, “as a result of, in the end, we all know that freedom and democracy is the purpose.”

For extra:


Right now’s tip comes from Elizabeth Eaves, who lives in Sacramento. Elizabeth recommends a visit to far northeastern California:

“If I might, I’d go to Modoc County within the higher jap nook of California to see the butterflies and drive by way of the Warner Mountains tucked behind two volcanoes. The inhabitants is beneath 10,000 and the unpaved roads are clean and effective. There are extra butterflies within the Warner Mountains than wherever else within the nation. Modoc Nationwide Forest and the Bureau of Land Administration have all the knowledge you want. There may be the well-known Lava Beds Nationwide Monument and locations like Shock Valley and a bit of city referred to as Probably.

Driving within the Warner Mountains to see the butterflies could be a dream. I’ve lived all of my 78 years in California and been to all the locations that almost all anybody may title. This state is large, various, stunning, and many of the locations individuals go to are crowded. Modoc County and the Warner Mountains are the essence of the wild magnificence and wealthy geologic and cultural historical past. I take a deep breath and let the Warners remind me why California is price having lived right here my complete life.”

Inform us about your favourite locations to go to in California. E-mail your options to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We’ll be sharing extra in upcoming editions of the e-newsletter.


Till this week, Patrick Combs had not seen Searcy Hughes because the day she was born, June 29, 1988. The beginning was momentous sufficient to make the entrance web page of the following day’s San Francisco Chronicle.

“S.F. pupil delivers child on sidewalk on his method to work,” the headline reads.

Thirty-four years in the past, Combs helped ship Hughes after discovering her mom in labor on a sidewalk in San Francisco. Hughes was quickly given up for adoption, and she or he didn’t know the complete story of her beginning till she reconnected with Combs.

On Wednesday, Combs and Hughes walked arm in arm to the spot the place Hughes was born, close to the nook of Fell and Buchanan Streets. Combs, who flew from San Diego for the reunion, recalled that when he first held Hughes, he thought she wasn’t alive.

“Then your eyes popped open just like the headlights on a Fiat — then you definitely checked out me and began crying,” Combs instructed Hughes, who now lives in South Dakota.

“I didn’t keep in mind what your mom seemed like till I noticed you,” he continued. “That’s how a lot you seem like her.”

Learn extra in The San Francisco Chronicle.


Thanks for studying. We’ll be again on Monday.

P.S. Right here’s right now’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Fuzzy fruit (4 letters).

Soumya Karlamangla, Allison Honors and Briana Scalia contributed to California Right now. You’ll be able to attain the workforce at CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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