House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Thursday that President Biden has not spoken to her directly about traveling to Taiwan and declined to confirm if she will be making the trip.
Media reports said earlier this week that Pelosi will visit Taiwan in August, drawing sharp warnings from Beijing against the travel plans. When asked if he thought the trip was a good idea, President Biden said, “The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now.”
Pelosi told reporters that she hasn’t heard anything from the president. “You’re telling me and I heard it anecdotally,” she said. “But I haven’t heard it from the president.”
Pelosi suggested that maybe the military worried China would shoot down her plane, but there’s no reason to believe that Beijing would even consider taking things that far. Pelosi declined to confirm if she was making the trip, citing security concerns, and said she never discusses her travel plans. “You never even hear me say if I’m going to London, because it is a security issue,” she said.
China has responded to recent congressional delegations visiting Taiwan by stepping up military activity near the island. But Pelosi’s visit will be more provocative than an ordinary senator or House representative since she is the House speaker, and Beijing said Thursday that it will take “forceful measures” in response. If she makes the trip, it will mark the first time in 25 years that a House speaker visits Taiwan.
A visit to Taiwan by a high-level official in the US government signals to Beijing that Washington is moving closer to abandoning the one-China policy. Pelosi tried to downplay those concerns and said she doesn’t support an independent Taiwan. “None of us has ever said we’re for independence when it comes to Taiwan. That’s up to Taiwan to decide,” she said.