Democratic foreign policy pundits split on Pelosi trip to Taiwan: ‘good for her’, ‘not a good idea’

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Democratic foreign policy experts have given conflicting opinions on the wisdom of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, who may visit Taiwan next month, with some applauding her and others warning the trip could provoke Chinese retaliation.

The Financial Times reported earlier this week that Pelosi planned to visit Taiwan in August, after a trip planned earlier this year was postponed due to her testing positive for COVID-19.

“I would say good for her,” Michele Flournoy, who previously served as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy in the Obama administration, told Fox News Digital at the Aspen Security Forum.

“We have to show Taiwan that we support them, that we are committed to supporting their self-defense, that we care, and that we will show ourselves, and we will try to deter any unprovoked aggression against them,” Flournoy continued.

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Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speak at an event.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speak at an event.
(Getty Pictures)

Joseph Nye, who previously served as the United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, had a different opinion.

“I think we have to be careful not to have high profile visitors in Taiwan,” he told Fox News Digital. “What we need to do is deter Beijing from thinking they can use force. But at the same time, we don’t want to put a finger in Xi Jinping’s eye and make them make a rash decision. ”

Nye said the United States should be careful about making Taiwan look “like an independent country” but should instead support its self-defense capabilities.

“So I would say give the Taiwanese the ability to defend themselves,” he said. “Make them a porcupine as the saying goes. But don’t try to make them look more like an independent country, because that’s the kind of thing that would make Xi Jinping embark on a very risky adventure, and we’d all be so sorry for that.”

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President Biden also criticized the trip reported by the speaker, saying the US military opposed it, giving the story additional media attention about a possible split between two of the Democratic Party leaders.

“Well, I think the military thinks that’s not a good idea right now,” Biden said Wednesday when asked about Pelosi’s reported trip. “But I don’t know what his status is.”

US President Joe Biden, March 31, 2022.

US President Joe Biden, March 31, 2022.
(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File photo)

The Chinese government has also spoken out against the trip, with Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian saying the country will “certainly take resolute and vigorous measures to firmly defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

“The United States must be fully responsible for any consequences caused by this,” he added.

CHINESE AMBASSADOR HIGHLIGHTS TAIWAN AS ‘MOST SENSITIVE’ ISSUE, SAYS US DOES NOT SUPPORT INDEPENDENCE

The former editor of the Chinese Communist Party’s state tabloid, the Global Times, also suggested that the country detain and punish Pelosi for his visit to Taiwan.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was barred from receiving Communion by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was barred from receiving Communion by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Taiwan has declared itself an independent country, but the People’s Republic of China still claims ownership of the island, making it what Chinese Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang calls the “most sensitive issue” between the United States and China.

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“The Taiwan issue is the most sensitive and important core issue in China-US relations,” Qin said at the Aspen Security Forum. “China loves the peaceful people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Our compatriots.”

Fox News’ Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.

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