Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has denounced the Biden administration for not fully supporting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned trip to Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), which has been condemned by China.
“To allow America to be intimidated by Chinese propaganda, right after, frankly, President Biden had a phone call, a long phone call, with [Chinese President] Xi Jinping… would send a very bad message to our friends in the region: the Australians, the South Koreans, the Japanese,” Pompeo said in an interview on Sunday.
Pompeo’s comments stand in stark contrast to those of former President Donald Trump, under whom he served as Secretary of State. Trump slammed Pelosi’s trip and said, “Everything she touches turns to chaos, disruption and ‘shit’.”
Pelosi announced Sunday that she is embarking on a four-nation tour of Asia, scheduled to lead a six-member congressional delegation to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. She did not mention Taiwan in her plans, however, despite several reports of her intention to visit the territory.
“I don’t often agree with Speaker Pelosi, but she made it clear that she wanted to go alone to Taiwan, an independent and sovereign nation. And now the Biden administration is saying, “Well, maybe that’s not smart,” Pompeo said.
US President Joe Biden said earlier this month that the Pentagon was concerned about a reaction from China and was seeking to discourage the visit.
“The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” Biden said as he left Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, “but I don’t know what his status is.”
China warned that the trip could “have a serious negative impact on the political foundations of China-US relations and send a seriously wrong signal to separatist ‘Taiwan independence’ forces.”
China’s Foreign Ministry has warned that Beijing will take “strong action” if Pelosi travels to Taiwan, as sections of the US media have reported.
A Chinese political analyst and scholar said China has let the United States know that Taiwan is a red line that Washington should not meddle with.
Yilun Zhang, a research associate and administrative officer at the Institute of China-American Studies, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday.
“It’s no surprise that China is reacting much more strongly to President Pelosi’s potential visit to Taiwan in August than to any other tension over Taiwan,” Zhang said.
“Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, from Beijing’s perspective, is a significant change from the status quo, which seriously violates what the United States and China agreed to in the three joint statements. If she lands in Taipei, the President is not only America’s highest lawmaker, but also the second political figure in the US presidential succession. Therefore, despite the Biden administration’s attempt to draw lines between executive and legislative, it means little difference to the Chinese side, which is why it still points the finger at the White House, not just Congress. “, explained the analyst.