U.S. Sen. Rick Scott reaffirmed his support for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned foreign trip to Taiwan, in what seems to be an evolving Republican position.
Pelosi’s Taiwan trip, slated for August, defies the communist Chinese government in Beijing, which says such a trip would adversely impact relations between China and the United States. But Scott, appearing on Tuesday’s “Faulkner Focus” on the Fox News Channel, again offered total support for the plans of the Democratic House Speaker to flout Beijing’s will and make the trip next month.
“I was just over there and I think Nancy Pelosi should go over there,” Scott said. “Americans ought to go over there and make sure China knows we will support Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and our allies in Asia.”
“We’re not going to be bullied by Xi, or the communist government,” Scott added, saying the trip was essential “for American security and the security of our allies.”
Scott made similar points last week in another cable news interview.
“I actually just got back from Taiwan a couple of weeks ago. And I think it’s important that we go over there and let Taiwan and South Korea and Japan know we’re their ally. We’re going to stand with them. I think it’s important to let Taiwan know that we’re going to defend their freedom,” Scott said on the Fox Business Network’s “Varney and Co.”
Chinese leadership warns, per The Associated Press, of a “strong and forceful response” if Pelosi makes the trip.
A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry warned the Pelosi visit could “severely undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, gravely impact the foundation of China-U.S. relations and send a seriously wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces.”
A spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council said something similar to Xinhua’s English language publication last week, saying his office continues to “resolutely oppose any official exchange between the United States and Taiwan.”
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered similar saber rattling this spring, comments for global consumption that were also reported in the state publication Xinhua. President Joe Biden seems to take those warnings more seriously than Pelosi or her GOP supporters, however.