WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s White House warned China on Monday not to use Chairman Nancy Pelosi’s likely visit to Taiwan to escalate tensions with the United States or the island that considers itself an independent nation.
“There is no reason for Beijing to turn a potential visit consistent with long-standing US policy into any kind of crisis or conflict or to use it as a pretext for aggressive military activity in or around the Taiwan Strait.” increase,” John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications with the White House National Security Council, said during a briefing room at the White House. “And yet, even before Speaker Pelosi arrived in the region, China held a live fire drill this weekend.”
Kirby said Pelosi’s potential stop there on her ongoing Asia journey was no different from previous visits by other top congressional leaders and that Chinese leaders need to understand the US system of separation of powers between the executive and legislatures.
“Nothing about this potential visit — potential visit, which has precedent by the way — would change the status quo, and the world would reject any attempt by the PRC to use it to do so,” he said, referring to the People’s Republic of China. china . “We will not take the bait or engage in saber-clattering. At the same time, let’s not be intimidated. We will continue to operate in the seas and airs of the western Pacific as we have done for decades.”
Kirby acknowledged that Pelosi is traveling aboard a plane ultimately under Biden’s control in his role as commander in chief. “The speaker is flying aboard a military plane,” he said, in response to a question about how the White House would know if and when Pelosi got there. “So we’ll know.”
Biden himself suggested that his administration is not keen on a Pelosi trip to Taiwan right now, telling reporters last month, “The military doesn’t think it’s a good idea at this point.”
Kirby said Monday that, despite that comment, Pelosi has the right to travel wherever she wants. “We don’t make the decision for the speaker. She makes her own decisions. We give her advice and advice and context. She makes her own decisions. And the president, who has served in the Senate for a long time, understands and respects the institutional prerogatives of members of Congress,” Kirby said.
The ‘One China’ policy has been in effect since its inception by President Richard Nixon in 1971 prior to his groundbreaking visit to the communist nation. Codified in 1979, the policy recognizes the Beijing government as the legitimate authority of the entire country, while seeking to support the autonomy of Taiwan, the island where anti-communist forces withdrew after Mao Zedong’s takeover in 1949. .
Before Nixon, the United States had effectively recognized Taiwan as an independent country.
Under China’s current dictator Xi Jinping, mainland China has become increasingly aggressive in claiming sovereignty over Taiwan with both military show of force and bellicose rhetoric.
Xi warned of Pelosi’s visit during a phone call with Biden last week, according to China’s state news agency. “If you play with fire, you burn. I hope the US side can see this clearly,” Xi reportedly said.