President Biden told reporters Wednesday that the US military thinks it’s “not a good idea” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to visit Taiwan.
Media reports on Tuesday said that Pelosi plans to make the trip to Taiwan next month, prompting China to warn it will “take strong and resolute measures” in response.
When asked if he thinks the trip is a good idea, Biden said, “The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now, but I don’t know what the status of it is.”
It’s not clear from Biden’s comments if his administration expressed to Pelosi that the trip wasn’t a good idea or if she still plans on going through with it. If she makes the trip, it will be the first time a sitting House speaker visits the island in 25 years.
China would view the trip as a major provocation because Pelosi is a high-level government official, and it would be a major signal against the one-China policy. The US severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 as part of its steps to normalize with Beijing.
But in recent years, congressional delegations to Taiwan and high-level visits have become more common. In August 2020, the Trump administration sent then-Health Secretary Alex Azar to Taiwan, making him the highest-level US official to make the trip since 1979.
China often responds to US officials visiting Taiwan with military action. Earlier this month, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) traveled to the island and met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. China responded by sending warplanes across the median line that separates the Taiwan Strait.