(CNS News) – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) approved of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) traveling to Taiwan, but criticized the U.S. presidential administration’s response to it as “an absolute mess.”
At the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 2, CNS News asked Cruz, “Should Speaker Pelosi have gone to Taiwan?”
“Absolutely yes,” Cruz replied. “And the Biden White House has managed to make an absolute mess of this, including leaking that the Biden Defense Department opposed Speaker Pelosi’s traveling to Taiwan, and then absurdly refusing to make unequivocally clear that any threats of violence against the speaker would be met with overwhelming consequences.”
When asked on July 20 if he thought Pelosi's plan to travel to Taiwan was a good idea, President Joe Biden told reporters, “The military thinks it’s not a good idea right now, but I don’t know what the status of it is.
On Monday, Aug. 1, Department of Defense Press Secretary John Kirby said he “didn’t know that [Pelosi] was urged not to go” to Taiwan and emphasized that the speaker makes her own decisions, during a press briefing.
Pelosi departed Taiwan on Wednesday after meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and visiting the National Human Rights museum.
China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that its military will conduct a series of live-fire drills from Aug. 4- 7 in six different areas around the island, according to Aljazeera.
“Make no mistake: America remains unwavering in our commitment to the people of Taiwan– now & for decades to come,” Pelosi wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
It was also my high honor to receive from President @iingwen of Taiwan the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon: a symbol of our treasured friendship. Make no mistake: America remains unwavering in our commitment to the people of Taiwan– now & for decades to come. pic.twitter.com/yFcVQil4TT— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 3, 2022
Kirby told reporters on Tuesday that the National Security Council continues to “not support Taiwan independence” during a press briefing.
Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan occurred despite prior threats from China of its military taking “strong measures” against plans for “Taiwan independence” from the totalitarian regime, spurring concern in Washington of strained relations between the world’s two largest economies.
“If the United States goes ahead with [Pelosi’s visit], the Chinese military will never watch and do nothing,” Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesman Tan Kefei said this week. “It will take strong measures to thwart any external interference and separatist plans for ‘Taiwan independence’ and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Upon arriving in Taiwan, Pelosi and members of a Congressional delegation stated that their visit “in no way contradicts longstanding United States policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, U.S.-China Joint Communiques and the Six Assurances.”
“The United States continues to oppose unilateral efforts to change the status quo,” the statement ended.
Chinese President Xi Jinping warned Biden against playing with fire during a phone call on Thursday.
“Those who play with fire will perish by it,” China’s foreign ministry quoted Xi telling Biden, according to a Reuters report on Sunday. "It is hoped that the U.S. will be clear-eyed about this.”
Pelosi is the highest-ranking American politician to visit Taiwan since then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) visited in 1997.