According to Fox News, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL), a retired Green Beret, is arguing that President Joe Biden ought to make it plain to China that if it harms House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in any way during her trip to Taiwan it would be “a declaration of war.”
To get you up to speed, the Financial Times recently reported that Pelosi is planning to make a trip to Taiwan next month. It seems that the purpose of the trip, at least in part, is to show solidarity with Taiwan against China, which claims authority over it.
This prospect of Pelosi visiting Taiwan has set China off, so much so, that Chinese propagandists are threatening Pelosi with harm. Hu Xijin, the former editor of China’s state-run Global Times, just tweeted:
If US fighter jets escort Pelosi’s plane into Taiwan, it is invasion. The PLA has the right to forcibly dispel Pelosi’s plane and the US fighter jets, including firing warning shots and making tactical movement of obstruction. If ineffective, then shoot them down.
Experts are warning that this threat ought to be taken seriously.
The White House’s response
This situation has put the White House in a difficult position.
On the one hand, President Joe Biden is supposed to be a supporter of Pelosi. But, on the other hand, the Biden administration has been trying to remain on China’s good side by not explicitly recognizing Taiwan as a sovereign, autonomous nation.
So far, it would appear that Biden and his administration are trying to talk Pelosi out of making the trip. But, it does not appear that Pelosi is backing down: it remains to be seen whether or not she will actually make the trip.
It is this situation that Waltz discussed during an interview with Fox News on Friday.
“Tantamount to a declaration of war”
During the interview, Waltz made it clear that he believes that Biden needs to take a stronger position here.
“Once again, we see the Biden White House failing to be clear on what the United States finds acceptable and unacceptable — and in this case, need to make it clear that should any harm come to Speaker Pelosi and her trip to Taiwan, it’s tantamount to a declaration of war,” he said.
“That’s the kind of clarity we need from the commander-in-chief right now, and, we’re just not getting it,” Waltz added.
Indeed, we aren’t. By now, though, why would we expect anything different from Biden?