Press "Enter" to skip to content

Blame Biden’s reckless waffling over Pelosi’s Taiwan trip for creating an international incident

President Joe Biden’s irresolution and incompetence has transformed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan into a major international incident. For weeks, President Biden’s weakness, in the words of Winston Churchill, offered China “temptations to a trial of strength” over Taiwan. China’s President Xi Jinping saw an opportunity to re-write the status quo in Taiwan and believed he could intimidate our president into submitting to his will.

Every year, members of Congress travel to Taiwan to meet with Taiwanese officials, educate themselves on this key national security issue, and strengthen diplomatic bi-lateral relations between our two countries. 

In 2016, I personally visited Taiwan with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain and a large Congressional delegation. Our visit occurred without a major incident, even though I was travelling with one of the highest-ranking members of Congress and a former nominee for president. 

PELOSI TAIWAN VISIT: SPEAKER CALLS OUT CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY AMID HEIGHTENED TENSIONS

Similarly, President Trump dispatched cabinet and sub-cabinet level officials to Taiwan. Contrary to claims made by Biden administration flacks, the United States does send senior officials to Taiwan—and does so often.

Furthermore, House Speaker Newt Gingrich traveled to Taiwan in 1997, in a clear precedent for Speaker Pelosi’s visit this week. Ultimately, the Speaker’s trip is more routine than revolutionary, and far from unprecedented. Whatever one thinks of Nancy Pelosi, she is entitled to travel to Taiwan. China has no right to deny her access to the island. 

Nevertheless, President Biden has pitifully waffled on this clear-cut issue. When asked in July about the Speaker’s planned trip, Biden responded, “the military thinks it’s not a good idea right now. But I don’t know what the status of it is.” 

This was an unbelievably stupid and reckless thing to say. In two sentences the president admitted to internal divisions within the U.S. government, a reticence within the military, and personal ambivalence, if not ignorance. Making matter worse, the president has made no effort to correct his obvious error.

TAIWAN THANKS PELOSI FOR ‘SUPPORT’ DURING CONTROVERSIAL VISIT, SAYING ISLAND IS ‘NOT ALONE’

China’s dictator, Xi Jinping, clearly noticed the president’s gaffe and sensed weakness. Ever since, he’s ratcheted up the pressure and the stakes of Pelosi’s visit. The People’s Liberation Army soon announced large scale military exercises across the straits from Taiwan and Chinese officials have threatened to launch a war against the United States and to shoot Pelosi’s plane out of the sky. In response to Chinese saber-rattling, Taiwan has reportedly mobilized its air defense forces, while the U.S. Navy has deployed four warships, including an aircraft carrier, east of Taiwan.

Yet, the White House continued to waffle and refused to provide a full-throated defense of Pelosi’s right to travel. In fact, indications are that Biden tried to talk Pelosi out of the trip, consolidating his weak reputation and ensuring that no matter the outcome, America would lose. He couldn’t have botched this anymore if he tried.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER

Almost exactly one year ago, the world watched in shock as the United States was humiliated in Afghanistan by a band of medieval savages and abandoned our allies in disarray. 

Gloating communists in Beijing asserted that a so-called “Afghan Effect” would reverberate around that world—that our allies would see us as unreliable and liable to cut-and-run at the first sight of trouble. 

Far from dispelling this fear through his handling of this manufactured crisis, Joe Biden has deepened it. After all, he did abandon an ally. He abandoned Nancy Pelosi. 

In his famous Iron Curtain speech, Churchill observed of the Soviet Union that “there is nothing they admire so much as strength, and there is nothing for which they have less respect than for weakness.” 

What was true for Russian communists in the last Cold War is true of Chinese communists in this Cold War. It’s past time for Joe Biden to reverse course and get tough on China.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM SEN. TOM COTTON

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x