Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper Encourages Pelosi to Visit Taiwan

Recently, we noted that when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in a position to do the right thing, she will choose the wrong thing—every time. It’s not clear why Pelosi is even considering a visit to Taiwan. Perhaps, it’s to distract from concerns about charges of possible “insider trading.”

Whatever her reasons, now, Pelosi’s in a position to either make the U.S. appear strong or weak, depending on whether she makes the trip to Taiwan. Newt Gingrich recently mentioned on FOX News his support for Pelosi making the trip. He said she should tell the State Department and Pentagon to “shut up…,” and go to Taiwan. He also said she should bring a high-ranking Republican for bipartisanship.

Also joining in the support chorus is President Donald Trump’s former Defense Secretary Mark Esper. According to The Daily Signal, “Esper is among those cautioning Pelosi, D-Calif., against… cancel[ing] or postpon[ing] the trip while warning what message it would send to China.”

Esper said, “At this point, given the bluster and proclamations coming out from Beijing, I think if she doesn’t take the trip, it’ll look like she stood down in the face of Chinese rhetoric and protestations.”

During an interview with The Daily Signal’s Samantha Renck, Esper noted, that Pelosi would not be setting any precedents as previous House speakers have visited Taiwan, including Newt Gingrich. Gingrich also mentioned on FOX that the CCP was as saber-rattling at his visit as they are now with Pelosi’s.

“But more importantly…,” Esper said, “we should not allow other governments, particularly the Chinese Communist Party, to dictate the travel plans of our officials. I think that’s just a core principle that should not be violated.”

Esper believes if she doesn’t go “it’ll look like she stood down in the face of Chinese rhetoric and protestations.”

About Joe Biden’s upcoming phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Renck asked if Esper had any advice for Biden. “We should defend core principles, such as the right of American lawmakers and officials to travel wherever they want. He should also reassert our support for Taiwan, consistent with the Taiwan Relations Act.”

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