Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that President Biden has not talked to her directly about an official trip to Taiwan she’s reportedly set to take during Congress’s long August break.
What Biden said: After returning from a trip to Massachusetts on Wednesday, Biden told reporters that the military expressed concerns about the Speaker’s reported plans to go to Taiwan.
“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 told reporters after returning from a trip where he announced new climate actions.
The Speaker’s response: Speaking to reporters in the Capitol on Thursday, Pelosi declined to confirm that the trip was happening — “You never even hear me say if I’m going to London, because it is a security issue,” she said — while suggesting the Pentagon’s concern is that Beijing would attack her plane, rather than allow it to land in Taipei.
“I think what the president was saying is that maybe the military was afraid that our plane would get shot down, or something like that, by the Chinese,” she said. “I don’t know exactly. I didn’t see it. I didn’t hear it.”
“You’re telling me and I heard it anecdotally,” she added. “But I haven’t heard it from the president.”
A warning from Beijing: Pelosi’s scheduled trip to Taiwan, first reported by the Financial Times, quickly caught the attention of Chinese leaders, who are warning of stiff, if unnamed, repercussions if she goes through with it.
“If the United States insists on having its own way, China will take strong measures in response to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, according to Reuters. “All possible consequences that arise from this will completely be borne by the U.S. side.”
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