OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
For Democrats, there’s only one way to describe House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s possible trip to Taiwan — a no-win situation.
China’s state-run Global Times has issued a slew of threats toward President Joe Biden, Pelosi, and Democrats.
China has vowed to take extreme action if Pelosi visits Taiwan, which has left Biden in a tough bind.
He certainly doesn’t want to be bullied by communists nor does he want a war with the communists.
The Chinese Communist Party has threatened to use military force against Pelosi if she dares to visit Taiwan in August, using its state media to convince Biden that Pelosi’s trip would create political problems for Democrats.
The Global Times advised Pelosi and Biden to resist “pressure” from Republicans, as “Chinese experts” confidently predicted that “if the U.S. eventually let the partisan struggle and internal politics hijack its strategic decision-making, it would definitely bring a new crisis to the Taiwan Straits.”
The Global Times and its “Chinese experts” claimed:
China is telling the U.S. loud and clear where the bilateral “guardrails” are, and the U.S. should keep its promise of not supporting Taiwan secessionism. If Washington doesn’t keep the bilateral ties away from the edge but instead, insists on crashing against the “guardrails,” the consequence will definitely be a deadly disaster.
“Republicans’ encouragements to Pelosi are more like setting a trap than real approval. If Pelosi eventually goes to the island and causes a military crisis that the U.S. can’t handle, Republicans can still criticize the Biden administration for the failure to handle a crisis,” one of those anonymous “experts” said.
Research fellow Lu Xiang of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said:
Biden wants to engage with the Chinese top leader to seek help for the relief of inflation pressure as well as for the management of the competition and differences between the two sides, but when Pelosi, the House speaker who is in the same party as the president, is likely to make an extreme provocation against China on the most sensitive Taiwan question, it’s very unlikely to be conducive to constructive and friendly talks, and the agenda of such an exchange would also be greatly impacted.
Last week, Hu Xijin, the former editor of the Chinese government-operated Global Times, threatened Pelosi if she dares to visit Taiwan.
“Where is Pelosi now, does anybody know? Some said that she will be going to Taiwan by a submarine instead, and others said that she has sneaked into Taiwan disguised as someone else, is that the case?” he said.
Where is Pelosi now, does anybody know? Some said that she will be going to Taiwan by a submarine instead, and others said that she has sneaked into Taiwan disguised as someone else, is that the case? 😀
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) July 31, 2022
The White House is being thoroughly criticized for refusing to directly address a call by a Chinese state media figure to shoot down Pelosi’s plane as well as any escorting U.S. fighters if she tries to visit Taiwan during her current Asia trip.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the threat on Friday and gave an extremely tame response.
“An official who is associated with Chinese State media is suggesting that if Speaker Pelosi tries to go to Taiwan that her plane could be shot down,” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy said. “Does the president have a response to that?”
“I know you’re asking specifically about the rhetoric that we’re hearing from China. But as it relates to the speaker’s travels, it’s something that we’re just not going to speak to. Right now, that’s a hypothetical. We’re just not going to speak on her schedule,” Jean-Pierre responded. “As we have said multiple times, we give advice and guidance to any members of Congress where they travel … But again, I’m not going to speak to a hypothetical.”
The unusually tame response to an official threat against the life of a high-ranking elected American official was ripped on social media.