Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) controversial trip to Taiwan is getting some bad reviews from members of her own party.
The Hill reports that Barack Obama’s former ambassador to China, former Senator Max Baucus of Montana, trashed the tour as a reckless provocation that made President Biden look “weak.”
Trashing her trip
Pelosi landed in Taiwan on Tuesday night despite threats of reprisal from Xi Jinping’s regime and President Biden saying the U.S. military had assessed the trip was a bad idea.
She left for South Korea the next day after meeting with officials and human rights campaigners.
Critics have expressed concern that Pelosi brought the United States closer to conflict with China, which considers Taiwan part of its sovereign territory. The United States has long acknowledged China’s claims without fully accepting them as legitimate.
Although Pelosi has denied that her trip has any policy significance, Baucus, who served as ambassador to China from 2014 until 2017, told CNN that China does not see it that way.
“We are playing with fire when we get pretty close to the line, and Pelosi is pushing us much, much closer to recognizing Taiwan as an independent country. And once we get there, we’re going to pay a price,” Baucus said.
Who made Biden look weak?
He added that Pelosi made Biden look “weak” by disrespecting his wishes on the world stage.
“Don’t forget, too, Speaker Pelosi — it’s a free pass for her. She’s not the president. She doesn’t have to worry about conducting foreign policy worldwide. She’s a member of Congress. She doesn’t have to worry about it.”
Pelosi defended the visit in an op-ed for the Washington Post, in which she said she was taking a stand against “autocrats.” But the Post, in its own editorial, called her decision “unwise” and characterized it as a publicity stunt to cap off her political career.
There is no doubt Pelosi’s trip put pressure on both the U.S. and China to look tough. China has responded by announcing live-fire military drills within Taiwan’s waters, starting Thursday. Biden, by contrast, has come out looking reluctant to confront Xi Jinping.
Frankly, if Pelosi made Biden look weak, Biden only has himself to blame.