President Joe Biden said Wednesday that military officials oppose House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan this summer, The Washington Post reports.
“The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now,” Biden told reporters. He added that he is not sure “what the status of it is.”
The Financial Times first reported that Pelosi planned to visit Taiwan during a trip to Asia, which also includes stops in Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
It would be the first trip by a House speaker to Taiwan in 25 years.
Pelosi and her office have declined to confirm the trip.
China lashes out:
China lashed out at the prospect of the trip.
“If the United States insists on going ahead, China will have to take firm and forceful measures to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday.
Such a trip would cause “grave harm,” he added, and “seriously impact the political foundations of China-U.S. relations.”
Pelosi stays mum:
Pelosi’s office said that it would neither confirm nor deny the plans “in advance due to long-standing security protocols.”
“You never even hear me say if I’m going to London because it is a security issue,” Pelosi told reporters on Thursday.
Asked about Biden’s remarks, Pelosi said, “I think what the president was saying is that maybe the military was afraid our plane would get shot down or something like that by the Chinese. I don’t know exactly. I didn’t see it. I didn’t hear it. You’re telling me and I’ve heard it anecdotally.”