May 30, 2023

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) weighed in Tuesday on heightened tension from China over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) potential trip to Taiwan.

Cotton told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that US lawmakers traveling to Taiwan was nothing new but expressed regret that President Joe Biden “chose to make this an issue” amid threats from the Chinese Communist Party. The Arkansas Republican said there was “no reason to escalate” Pelosi’s visit.

“China complains about it every time a lawmaker goes to Taiwan, but we’ve never had this level of tension and it’s because Joe Biden chose to make it an issue,” Cotton explained. “There was no reason to escalate this last month and say the military didn’t want her to travel or leak her travel plans or put pressure on her.”

He continued, “It’s an example of how Beijing is trying to rewrite the status quo that Beijing is the one doing provocative actions. And Joe Biden is very concerned about it, so he’s starting to mix it up publicly. If he had dealt with it like every other president has dealt with legislative trips to Taiwan in the past, I don’t think we would have seen this level of tension.”

Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent

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