Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened up about the worsening relations between the United States and China — over Taiwan, over trade, and over Beijing’s rise in global influence.
The California Democrat told Bloomberg News that the biggest problem between the two economic and military powerhouses is a lack of “shared values,” even if the two nations must reach some sort of agreement to accommodate a “shared planet.”
Bloomberg noted further:
Pelosi, a long-time critic of the Chinese government, offered a harsh assessment of it and US-based multinationals that invest there a day after Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo completed a visit intended to strengthen US ties with Beijing.
Pelosi said the Beijing government “violated almost every trade standard” and criticized its treatment of ethnic and religious minorities as well as its role contributing to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in a Bloomberg Television interview with Francine Lacqua for the “Leaders With Lacqua” program.
Pelosi rankled the Chinese government last year when she, as House Speaker and the second in line to the presidency behind Vice President Kamala Harris, visited Taiwan. But it was the White House’s tepid response to a thinly veiled threat against Pelosi’s aircraft that led to the most outcry from both sides of the aisle.
A commentator for the Chinese government-controlled state media “Global Times” made the threatening remarks on Twitter, writing, “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.”
The tweet was from Hu Xijin, editor of the outlet and former Chinese army officer and member of the ruling Communist Party. It has since been removed by Twitter for violating the platform’s rules.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the threat and gave an extremely tame response.
“An official who is associated with Chinese State media is suggesting that if Speaker Pelosi tries to go to Taiwan that her plane could be shot down,” Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy said. “Does the president have a response to that?”
“I know you’re asking specifically about the rhetoric that we’re hearing from China. But as it relates to the speaker’s travels, it’s something that we’re just not going to speak to. Right now, that’s a hypothetical. We’re just not going to speak on her schedule,” Jean-Pierre responded. “As we have said multiple times, we give advice and guidance to any members of Congress where they travel … But again, I’m not going to speak to a hypothetical.”
Users on the now-X platform ripped KJP for her lame, tame statement.
“Unbelievable: Karine Jean-Pierre says the White House won’t respond to Chinese state media threats to shoot down Nancy Pelosi’s plane should she visit Taiwan. ‘We’re just not going to speak on her schedule.’ Abject, embarrassing weakness,” wrote Heritage Foundation communications director John Cooper in a tweet containing a clip of Jean-Pierre’s response.
“Low as my opinion of the Biden White House is, I’d have expected their response to a question about a hostile foreign power SHOOTING NANCY PELOSI’S PLANE OUT OF THE SKY to be something stronger than ‘if she dies, she dies,’” National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin added. “They failed at Americaning.”
“There are no words to express how shamefully the Biden White House has caved, catered and capitulated to China,” Stephen Miller, former senior adviser to President Donald Trump, tweeted. “The damage to our power and prestige is colossal.”
“Uh, sweetheart, you don’t have to speak to her schedule. You can and should speak to the outlandish threats by #China,” Michael D. Brown, former under secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, tweeted. “You don’t even comprehend what you’re saying. You only know what’s in your notes. China knows that, too. And your boss, @POTUS , he’s in the bag for China.”