Trump Discourages Pelosi From Making Trip To Taiwan Opposed By Xi

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US President Donald Trump (L) and China's President Xi Jinping -- seen here in November 2017 -- made a good start to their relationship, but it faltered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and trade disputes
US President Donald Trump (L) and China's President Xi Jinping -- seen here in November 2017 -- made a good start to their relationship, but it faltered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and trade disputes AFP / Nicolas ASFOURI

Former President Donald Trump unleashed a tirade against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., ahead of her potential trip to Taiwan amid heightened tensions with China. Trump warned that Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island would only make matters worse. 

"Everything she touches turns to Chaos, Disruption and [expletive]," Trump wrote on his TruthSocial account on Friday. "The China mess is the last thing she should be involved in - She will only make it worse."

Trump’s comments come one day after President Joe Biden held his fifth phone call with President Xi Jinping of China. In a call that lasted over two hours, Xi warned Biden to not “play with fire” by allowing Pelosi to visit Taiwan or through any encouragement of Taiwanese independence from China. 

Taiwan has been self-governing since 1949 when Chinese nationalist forces took up refuge on the island following the Communist Party’s victory in a bloody civil war. Since 1979, the U.S. has maintained a One-China policy where Washington recognizes the government in Beijing as the sole representative for China, but while continuing to support Taipei. 

Biden himself has been wary about the possibility of Pelosi visiting Taiwan in her upcoming trip to Asia. This week, the president said that the U.S. military expressed concerns about the trip and CNN reported that Pentagon officials briefed Pelosi about the potential risks. Pelosi herself acknowledged the warning, but did not swear off her travel plans.

Trump, who positioned the U.S. to adopt a more confrontational approach to relations with China, has broken even with his fellow Republicans by discouraging Pelosi’s trip from taking place. Despite China’s bellicose warnings about “consequences”, Republican lawmakers have encouraged Pelosi to maintain her plans rather than cave to Beijing.

Trump has also staked out a position that is in opposition to members of his former administration. 

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went so far as to offer to accompany Pelosi, proudly touting the fact he is banned from entering mainland China. John Bolton, who served as Trump’s National Security Advisor before the two experienced a falling out, also urged Pelosi along with her plans. 

“Let Pelosi go to #Taiwan. It will tell us a great deal about who actually controls American foreign policy: Washington or Beijing. Doing anything more than blustering is far riskier to them than to us,” Bolton wrote in a tweet on Monday.

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