Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, told Newsmax Wednesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip Taiwan this week and her visit to Ukraine in April are “pushing the White House forward” on policy “where [President Joe Biden] is not leading.”
“This is not the first time she’s done that,” Turner said during “Spicer & Co.” Wednesday. “She just went to Ukraine and was in Kyiv with President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy, again, pushing the White House forward on policies where the president is not leading.“
Pelosi, the highest-ranking US official to visit the island since 1997, made the trip despite threatening rhetoric from the Chinese government and against the recommendation of Biden administration intelligence and military officials.
“We must stand by Taiwan, which is an island of resilience. Taiwan is a leader in governance: currently, in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and championing environmental conservation and climate action,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said in an opinion piece in The Washington Post Tuesday, the day she landed in Taipei. “In recent years, Beijing has dramatically intensified tensions with Taiwan. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has ramped up patrols of bombers, fighter jets and surveillance aircraft near and even over Taiwan’s air defense zone, leading the US Defense Department to conclude that China’s army is ‘likely preparing for a contingency to unify Taiwan with the PRC by force.'”
While Turner said he supported Pelosi’s trip and her foreign policy leadership contrasting what Biden is doing, he also pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of her strong stand to defend Taiwan and Ukraine, while proposing cuts to military and defense spending in Congress.
“While she’s making those strong statements, so we will defend Taiwan, she’s also, in leading the House, proposing cuts to defense spending, proposing cuts to our nuclear weapons systems, all while China is continuing to militarize space, expand its weapons programs, and has certainly become a new aggressor state in the region.”
He said he is concerned with potential escalation from China.
“I’m very concerned about escalation from China, and not necessarily as a result of Nancy Pelosi’s trip, but just what they’re doing,” he said. “You’ve heard [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] himself come forward and state that they would take Taiwan by force.”
Turner said the Chinese Communist Party is taking steps to militarily take the island, which would violate the “one China” policy that has been in place since 1979, pledging to not use force as long as Taiwan voluntarily stays a democracy.
“I think we’re seeing all the signs of it are being put in place,” he said. “It’s something certainly our military believes could happen in the next several years. So I think if we want to be curious as to whether this would happen, just believe China’s own statement.”
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