Newt Gingrich, former Republican House Speaker, urged Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Speaker, to make her planned trip to Taiwan in August despite any misgivings from the Biden administration.
Gingrich declared, to loud applause, that she felt strongly that Speaker Pelosi should travel to Taiwan with a bipartisan delegation.
Gingrich talked about the pressure that he felt when he was the highest-ranking American official to visit Taiwan in 1997 and how he decided to not go.
“In 1997, I headed a delegation. John Dingell, the senior Democrat was also on the delegation. He said that it was a truly bipartisan delegation.
He claimed he did this despite the high tensions with China at that time. Two aircraft carriers were sent by Bill Clinton, the then-President of the United States, through Taiwan Strait. He also said that he had just been invited by China to deliver a speech.
“And then, we told them that after all this was announced, we were going to Taiwan. They were furious. The Chinese Ambassador called the person who was responsible for national security and was our travel planner. He was in my office, and I recall him. We called him and he said that the Chinese Communist Party did not control the travel plans for the American Speaker of House.
He stated that the Chinese had backed down, and they agreed to not fly direct from China to Taiwan and to stop in Japan between. He said, “They reluctantly accepted that.”
He described the concerns of the Biden administration about Pelosi’s visit as “timidity, overshadowed by insecurity and an eagerness for people who aren’t Americans”
He criticised security concerns raised by the Defense Department about the trip and the possibility of a military confrontation.
Gingrich stated that unlike 1997 when we had a Defense Department that was actually focused on defense, you now have a woke Defense Department that is just as timid as the State Department and is very dangerous.
Gingrich stated that he had read an article in which the Department of Defense said that Pelosi’s visit would cause problems. “Well, my first suggestion would be this: If the Department of Defense doesn’t believe they can protect an American Speaker of the House during a public visit to Taiwan, then why would they think they could?”
“And if your Chinese Communists are watching the complete mess in Afghanistan and Ukraine, then you will see that this administration is begging to be bullied. So I came in and stated that we had huge disagreements about 98 and 99 for some things. On this one, I believe she was right to trust her instincts. He said, “I hope she sticks to his guns.”