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Biden Admits Military Thinks Pelosi’s Provocative China Move Is ‘Not a Good Idea’

President Joe Biden on Wednesday gave a chilly reception to prospects of a trip to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. On Tuesday, a report in the Financial Times said a stop in Taiwan will be part of Pelosi’s regional trip through Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, according to Reuters. Pelosi’s office has not confirmed the trip, saying it does not give advance notice of Pelosi’s travel. During a brief interaction with the media Wednesday at Joint Base Andrews, Biden was asked whether he approved of the reported trip, according to a White House transcript. “Well, I — 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 said. A follow-up question was asked about Chinese President Xi Jinping “I think I’ll be talking to President Xi within the next 10 days,” Biden said, later emphasizing that the timing of the call was not definite. China condemned the visit as soon as word of it was published, saying it would take unspecified “forceful measures.”. That was followed by a frothing editorial in the state-run Global Times. The trip “will be one of the most egregious provocations by the US to China on the Taiwan question since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the US,” the paper, which serves as a voice for the Chinese Community Party,  editorialized It said that “visiting Taiwan is definitely a red line that Pelosi must never cross. China is resolute in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and has the right to take forceful measures against ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist forces and extraterritorial forces at any time in accordance with changes in the situation, including against the trip and Pelosi herself.” Taiwan was the refuge of China’s Nationalist government after it lost the Chinese civil war in 1949. The U.S. does not extend official diplomatic recognition to Taiwan’s government, but has supported the island nation’s freedom by providing extensive military aid. China claims Taiwan is rightfully a part of China, and has become more bellicose on the issue in recent years. The editorial added that “if some US politicians want to use the Taiwan question to make political capital, they will certainly have a deeper understanding and feeling of the old Chinese saying, ‘he who plays with fire will get burned.’” The editorial also said that the U.S. must stop supporting Taiwan. “First, we believe that whether Pelosi makes the trip or not, Washington must give China a clear statement and stop being a double-dealer or obsessed with word games,” it wrote, adding, “Last year, after the three visits to Taiwan by US lawmakers, the deterrent actions imposed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) gradually increased and came closer and closer to an actual combat. Against this backdrop, if Pelosi insists on taking her own course, she will bring nightmare for ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.” Matthew Brooker noted in an Op-Ed on Bloomberg  that the dustup was a “distraction that the White House could do without.” “[T]he visit risks undermining any fruits of a planned call between Biden and China’s Xi Jinping. For Pelosi to postpone or cancel, though, would leave the impression of a US administration backing down in the face of Chinese belligerence,” he wrote. Brooker said there had been speculation that a Biden-Xi phone call could be the prelude to lowering tariffs as a means of trying to ease inflation. “Notably, the Taiwan controversy also constrains Xi’s ability to maneuver. China’s president will seek a precedent-breaking third leadership term at a Communist Party congress later this year, and has his own domestic political pressures, with the economy struggling under the weight of Covid restrictions, and a spreading mortgage crisis. With his government having denounced Pelosi’s Taiwan visit in such unequivocal terms, Xi cannot afford to appear accommodating to US demands,” he wrote. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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