Biden: Military Says Pelosi’s Taiwan Trip ‘Not a Good Idea’

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that U.S. military officials believe it’s “not a good idea” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan at the moment.

Biden’s comments in an exchange with reporters came a day after the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it would take “resolute and strong measures” should Pelosi proceed with reported plans to visit Taiwan in the coming weeks.

“Well, I think that the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” Biden said in response to a question about Pelosi’s reported trip. “But I don’t know what the status of it is.”

Pelosi did not suggest that the president travel to Taiwan.

Pelosi originally was scheduled to visit the country in April. However, she had to cancel her plans after testing positive for COVID-19. Since Newt Gingrich (a Republican) traveled to the country 25 years back when he was House Speaker, she would be the American’s highest ranking lawmaker.

On Tuesday, The Financial Times reported that Pelosi was planning to continue with the postponed trip to Taipei she had made in March. Her office declined to comment, saying the office does not confirm or deny the speaker’s international travel in advance, due to longstanding security protocols.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijiang said such a visit would “severely undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, gravely impact the foundation of China-U.S. relations and send a seriously wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces.”

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker from California, talks before Olena Zelenska (first lady of Ukraine), addresses Congressmen on Capitol Hill, Washington, Wednesday July 20, 2022.

Michael Reynolds/Pool Photo via AP

The U.S. has a longstanding commitment to the “One China” policy that recognizes Beijing as the government of China but allows informal relations and defense ties with Taipei. China has stepped up its military provocations against democratic, self-ruled Taiwan in recent years as it looks look to intimidate it into accepting Beijing’s demands to unify with the communist mainland.

Biden said that he expects to talk with Chinse President Xi Jinping in the coming days.

Biden’s national security and economic aides are in the process of completing a review of the U.S. tariff policy and making recommendations to the president.

Trump’s tariffs placed a 25% tax on millions of Chinese products. They were intended to lower the U.S.’s trade deficit, and for China to use fairer methods.

Janet Yellen (Treasury Secretary) has called on the removal of certain tariffs in order to reduce inflation in the United States. U.S. trade representative Katherine Tai and others in the Biden administration have voiced concerns about the possibility of easing tariffs if China does not respect its agreement to buy U.S.-made products.

Biden sidestepped a reporter’s question on Wednesday about what he might have to say to Xi about tariffs. “I’d tell him to have a good day,” Biden responded.

Biden and Xi have their differences over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s prosecution of his nearly 5-month-old war against Ukraine. Biden attempted to force the Chinese not to provide economic or military aid to Russia.


Lisa Mascaro, Aamer Mashani, and Lisa Mascaro were Associated Press reporters who contributed to this article.

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