China’s military drills, threats and cuts in some bilateral cooperation in reaction to U.S. lawmakers’ visit to Taiwan is an attempt to establish a “new normal” in the Taiwan Strait, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday.

Pelosi said the delegation of congressional members that she led to Taiwan was intended as a salute to a thriving democracy, and China should not have taken offense.

“We didn’t go there to talk about China. We went there to praise Taiwan. And we went there to show our friendship to say, ‘China cannot isolate Taiwan.’ ”

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s attempt to drive a wedge between Taipei and Washington backfired, said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks. He noted that instead, China’s provocations have resulted in a greater closeness between Taiwan and the United States.

“The House of Representatives, led by the speaker of the House, gave Xi a message that he’s not going to dictate to us on what we do and what we don’t do,” Meeks said.

Representative Raja Krishnamurti told reporters Beijing’s response was an attempt to distract from problems inside China, and he is now glad to see the Chinese live-fire military exercises subsiding.

China’s Communist Party considers Taiwan a rogue province that must be reunited with the mainland.

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