Biden: Military thinks potential Pelosi trip to Taiwan is ‘not a good idea’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) answers questions during her weekly press conference on Thursday, July 14, 2022.
Greg Nash
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) answers questions during her weekly press conference on Thursday, July 14, 2022.

The U.S. military has expressed concerns about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) reported plans to go to Taiwan, President Biden said Wednesday.

“I think that the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now. But I don’t know what the status of it is,” Biden told reporters after returning from a trip to Massachusetts to announce new climate actions.

Pelosi is planning to lead a delegation to Taiwan in August, according to multiple outlets. Her office has not commented on any potential trip, and the White House has said it does not believe it is finalized. But if it were to go forward, it would mark a rare visit to the island for a high-ranking U.S. leader.

Beijing warned Tuesday that any visit by Pelosi and other U.S. officials would “have a severe negative impact on the political foundation of China-US relations, and send a gravely wrong signal to ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-PIerre earlier Wednesday reiterated the administration’s commitment to the One China policy, which recognizes Beijing as the representative government of China but considers Taiwan’s status unsettled.

Biden has muddied the U.S. position on Taiwan with previous comments, however, repeatedly indicating the U.S. would defend Taiwan against an invasion by China.

“Look, here’s the situation. We agree with the ‘One China’ policy … but the idea that to be taken by force, just taken by force, is just not appropriate,” Biden said in May in Japan. “It will dislocate the entire region and be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine.”

China has been increasingly aggressive in recent years, stepping up military flights into Taiwan’s airspace and sending ships through the Taiwan Strait. The pattern has raised alarms among the international community that Beijing may ultimately try to take Taiwan by force.

Under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, the U.S. is committed to providing Taiwan with arms for its defense. The law does not commit the U.S. to sending troops to Taiwan to defend it.

Tags Karine Jean-Pierre Nancy Pelosi Nancy Pelosi President Joe Biden Taiwan US-China relations

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