Monday’s White House warning to China against using a possible Taiwan visit by Speaker Nancy Pelosi for military action in the region was issued after President Joe Biden raised concerns.
John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, took the podium at the White House Daily Briefing to convey a strong message about Pelosi’s possible trip to China.
“We won’t take the bait nor engage in saber-rattling. Kirby stated at the top that they would not be intimidated.
Kirby tried simultaneously to reassure China’s Communist Party that the United States has not changed its policy in the region.
“We have repeatedly stated that we are against unilateral changes to the status-quo from either side. He stated that he did not support Taiwan independence, and reassured Chinese officials that they would continue to adhere to the “One China Policy.”
The United States recognizes China’s One China Policy with Taiwan, but retains strategic ambiguity about whether it will act to defend the island in the event of an invasion by Chinese military forces.
Kirby’s comments indicated that the White House has finally backed Pelosi despite many administration officials trying to prevent the trip after China expressed its deep concern about the idea.
Biden publicly criticized the trip in July.
Biden answered a question about the matter and said, “Well, I think that it — the military thinks that it’s not good idea right now.”
Kirby admitted that China seemed to be “positioning itself” to act militarily if Pelosi visited Taiwan.
Kirby repeatedly denied confirmation or denial of the trip, but stated that they would protect the speaker should she choose to go.