Last week, reporting from the Financial Times revealed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning to take a congressional delegation on a trip to Taiwan sometime next month. If she follows through, the visit would mark the first time a U.S. House speaker has been to Taiwan in 25 years, with Newt Gingrich being the last to travel to the island in 1997.
The potential visit by Pelosi has predictably generated backlash from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has routinely claimed Taiwan as Chinese territory and threatened to annex the island by force. Soon after the report’s release, China’s Foreign Ministry representative Zhao Lijian addressed the matter at a daily briefing, saying Pelosi’s 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.”
“If the U.S. were to insist on going down the wrong path, China will take resolute and strong measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.
Nearly a week later, Beijing has continued to ramp up its rhetoric over the trip, with Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei going so far as to threaten military action against the United States if Pelosi ultimately goes through with the visit.
“[T]he Chinese military will by no means sit idly by and will take strong measures to thwart any external inferences and ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist attempts and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said on Tuesday.
In light of such bombastic threats against high-ranking U.S. officials, President Joe Biden, whose family has multiple financial relationships with Chinese entities, has refused to issue a strong response to the CCP’s aggression and instead has chosen to waive the white flag on the issue. While speaking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews last week, the president threw cold water on Pelosi’s planned trip, claiming, “The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now.”
As if his public display of weakness weren’t bad enough, new CNN reporting indicates that the president and his administration are actively attempting to dissuade Pelosi from making the trip to Taiwan over concerns about “how China may respond to such a high-profile visit.”
“Administration officials are concerned Pelosi’s trip comes at a particularly tense moment, as [Chinese dictator] Xi [Jinping] is expected to seek an unprecedented third term at the upcoming Chinese Communist Party congress,” the outlet revealed. “People familiar with the matter say their hope is to quietly convince Pelosi of the trip’s risks without explicitly telling her not to go.”
The report goes on to note how Biden’s team believes “the Chinese leadership don’t completely grasp the political dynamics in the United States” and “may be confusing Pelosi’s visit with an official administration visit, since she and Biden are both Democrats.”
“Administration officials are concerned that China doesn’t separate Pelosi from Biden much, if at all,” it added.
Biden Signals Weakness
Any serious leader of a country being threatened by a genocidal, communist regime would stand up and rebuke such aggressive diatribes. Then again, Biden has proved himself to be an unserious president.
Rather than publicly backing Pelosi’s visit and making clear that the U.S. will not tolerate any form of intimidation or assault against the American people, Biden and his merry band of feckless officials have instead opted to bury their heads in the sand to appease a country attempting to destroy Taiwan’s sovereignty and displace America as the world hegemon.
For Biden and his team to believe that China’s leadership doesn’t “completely grasp the political dynamics in the United States” once again demonstrates that our country’s leaders are incompetent. The CCP not only comprehends current U.S. politics; they study it to their advantage. Every word, action, and policy initiated by America’s political leaders are under constant watch by CCP officials. And right now, they no doubt couldn’t be more thrilled with what they’re hearing come out of Biden’s mouth.
Backing down in the face of intimidation and egging Pelosi to cancel her trip to Taiwan over worries about what China might do signals American weakness not just to CCP leadership, but to despotic regimes across the globe. If China can scare the leader of the free world into compliance, then what’s to stop North Korea from firing ballistic missiles toward South Korea and Japan, or Iran from fast-tracking the development of a nuclear weapon? The mere appearance of a diminished America heralds consequences for the world.
If Biden and company truly believe in standing by Taiwan and defending American hegemony, they should be unequivocal in their support for Pelosi’s trip and protecting the lives of U.S. officials abroad. Anything less is simply kowtowing to a communist government that hates our guts.
Shawn Fleetwood is an intern at The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood
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