Biden Administration Working Behind The Scenes To Convince Pelosi Of The risks of Traveling To Taiwan

During this time of heightened tension between the self-governing island and China, national security officials are secretly trying to convince House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the dangers of a possible trip to Taiwan.

According to those in the know, Speaker Pelosi aims to invite both Democrats and Republicans on this trip, which will take place in the coming weeks. She would be the first Speaker of the House to travel there in 25 years.

As Beijing has ramped up its rhetoric and aggressive actions toward the island in recent months, including sending warplanes into Taiwan’s self-declared air defense identification zone on multiple occasions, the potential trip is highlighting concerns within President Joe Biden’s administration over China’s designs on Taiwan.

Concern has been voiced by US officials that these actions are merely the beginning of a series of increasingly harsh ones China would take in the following months in an effort to assert its control over the island.

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During the conflict in Ukraine, Biden and other top officials have been watching with apprehension to see if China has learned anything from the West’s response to Russia’s aggressiveness.

Tensions in the region have been exacerbated by reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom Biden hopes to speak this week, is preparing the groundwork for a historic third term as president in the fall. It was underlined by officials that Biden’s call with Xi had been planned long before Pelosi’s possible trip to Taiwan became public knowledge.

Biden Administration Working Behind The Scenes To Convince Pelosi Of The risks of Traveling To Taiwan
Biden Administration Working Behind The Scenes To Convince Pelosi Of The risks of Traveling To Taiwan

While administration officials are concerned about Pelosi’s safety, they are equally concerned about China’s reaction to such a high-profile visit. Officials told CNN that Xi could use a political triumph after China reported its worst economic performance in two years, putting him in a politically precarious position just before a critical summit about extending his reign.

Biden’s staff has some thoughts on what he could say in response, but they don’t know what the Chinese leader would do.
This is the context in which Pelosi has proposed a congressional delegation visit to Taiwan, a trip she has thus far neglected to acknowledge publicly. However, this has not stopped China from blasting out, claiming that a visit would be a breach of US policy on the island.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Ministry of National Defense demanded that Pelosi cancel her visit, stating that the Chinese military would “resolutely defend national sovereignty” if it came under attack from “foreign forces” advocating for Taiwanese independence.

Defense Ministry Spokesman Tan Kefei said on Tuesday in response to inquiries on Pelosi’s reported travel to Taipei that China demands the US take concrete efforts to fulfill its vow not to support ‘Taiwan independence’ and not to arrange for Pelosi to visit Taiwan.

Defense Ministry Spokesman Tan Kefei said on Tuesday in response to inquiries on Pelosi’s reported travel to Taipei that China demands the US take concrete efforts to fulfill its vow not to support ‘Taiwan independence’ and not to arrange for Pelosi to visit Taiwan.

“If the US insists on going its own way, the Chinese military will never sit idly by; it will definitely take strong actions to thwart any external force’s interference and separatist’s schemes for ‘Taiwan independence,’ and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Tan said.

The White House stated on Tuesday that special precautions are taken to ensure Pelosi’s safety whenever she travels abroad due to her position in the line of succession for the presidency.

According to John Kirby, the communications coordinator of the National Security Council, this entails setting up a physical presence in the area, taking into account the local climate and topography. Even though Pelosi hasn’t announced any plans to visit Taiwan, “we take those commitments seriously,” Kirby said.

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