U.S. Rep. Greg Steube believes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should visit Taiwan, as she indicated she would do before venturing to the Far East this week.
But if China pulled something while the Democratic lawmaker was there, Steube said, he has no confidence President Joe Biden would be able to punish America’s chief adversary for its belligerent behavior – unlike when former President Donald Trump called the shots.
In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Steube was asked to respond to recent threats from China – which have included indications the communist nation would shoot down her plane but now to also “wait and see,” as Chinese diplomat said of Pelosi’s visit now that she’s in the region.
Steube said Pelosi has every right to go to Taiwan to represent U.S. interests – and should do so.
“Taiwan is a sovereign nation. For the Chinese Communist Party to tell an American official what country they can and cannot visit is ridiculous. American officials should go to whatever country they feel like,” the Sarasota Republican said.
“Now that China has made these childish, veiled threats, I certainly wouldn’t back down from my visit at this point. I would encourage her to not change her plans just because China is threatening some kind of action.”
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When asked about the prospect that China would follow through with some military action against Pelosi’s delegation, Steube said the U.S. should see any sort of attack as a “direct attack” on America itself.
“I think Republicans and Democrats are agreeing that we’re going to stand with the Taiwanese people and push back on the Chinese Communist Party,” said Steube, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
But the wild card is the occupant of the White House, he added. Whereas the last president left little doubt about what would happen to those who challenge America’s interests, the current one causes doubts to persist, he said.
“Unfortunately, we have complete weakness from this president and this administration as it relates to China. Even Biden himself doesn’t want Pelosi to go because he’s weak on China, and he knows he’s compromised,” said Steube.
That was a reference to ongoing revelations about Biden’s involvement in his son’s lucrative business deals with Chinese communists.
Steube was asked what America might do if Pelosi encountered a situation like the U.S. faced in 2001. At that time, a Navy electronic surveillance aircraft operating in international airspace was harassed and ultimately damaged by a Chinese plane, and forced to make an emergency landing.
“I don’t have any type of assurances out of this White House that there’s going to be any type of leadership, unlike we had in the Trump administration,” Steube said.
“We wouldn’t even be dealing with these type of veiled threats from the Chinese if Trump was still president. It wouldn’t be an issue for American officials to visit Taiwan like we have in years and years past.”
But now, he argued, “we have a completely compromised lack of leadership” in the White House.