Biden says he’s ‘not worried’ about China’s response to Pelosi visit to Taiwan

·2 min read

President Biden on Monday said he’s “not worried” about China’s aggressive response to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) trip last week to Taiwan, adding that he doesn’t think things will escalate any further between the U.S. and Beijing.

“I’m not worried, but I’m concerned that they’re moving as much as they are. But I don’t think they’re going to do anything more,” Biden told reporters.

When asked if Pelosi’s trip was a mistake, the president said, “That was her decision.”

The Biden administration has condemned Beijing’s live-fire drills in the waters surrounding Taiwan, which included multiple Chinese warships and aircraft crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, following Pelosi’s visit.

“They are provocative, irresponsible, and raise the risk of miscalculation, that’s what the president was referring to,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Monday, referring to China’s response.

“They are also at odd with our longstanding goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan strait, which is what the world expects,” she added.

Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last week made her the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the island in 25 years. The Chinese foreign ministry characterized her visit as having a “severe impact on the political foundation of China-U.S. relations.”

Since she landed, the White House has said it respects Pelosi’s decision to visit Taiwan and has pushed back on questions about any drama between the Speaker’s office and the White House surrounding her trip.

Biden told reporters last month that the military “thinks it’s not a good idea” for Pelosi to visit Taiwan amid already rising tensions over the island’s status and the administration urging China not to back Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Before landing, White House national security spokesman John Kirby warned China against using the moment to create a “crisis” and then said on Tuesday that Beijing’s actions in response to her visit were “consistent with the playbook we expected them to run.”

-Updated at 10:42 a.m.

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