The former president said ?Crazy Nancy Pelosi? gave Beijing an excuse to escalate over Taiwan
Former President Donald Trump has condemned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for visiting Taiwan, calling her trip "China's dream." Trump previously argued that Pelosi's visit, which led to large-scale Chinese military drills and a severing of some diplomatic links with the US, would "cause great friction and hatred."
"Crazy Nancy Pelosi, what the hell? What was she doing in Taiwan?" Trump said during a campaign-style rally in Wisconsin on Friday. "She was China's dream. She gave them an excuse. They've been looking for that excuse, she gave it. Everything she touches turns to you-know-what."
Pelosi visited Taiwan on Tuesday, after repeated warnings from Beijing that doing so would have diplomatic and military consequences. Although Taiwan has governed itself since 1949, China still claims sovereignty over the island and considers high-level visits like Pelosi's to be tacit endorsements of Taiwanese independence. The US has officially recognized Beijing's claim over Taiwan since the 1970s under the One-China policy.
Following Pelosi's visit, China launched large-scale military exercises, imposed trade restrictions on Taiwan, sanctioned Pelosi and her family, and cut communications with Washington on key issues like maritime security, transnational law enforcement, and climate change. As China's military drills continued into the weekend, Chinese military officials are reportedly refusing to answer calls from their American counterparts.
While in office, Trump oversaw a pivoting of US foreign policy from the Middle East to China, with the Pentagon's 2018 National Defense Strategy naming China as the top "strategic competitor," and waged a trade war against Beijing for much of his term. When Covid-19 emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2020, Trump immediately branded it "the China virus," and later accused China of "destroy[ing] the world" with the pathogen.
However, while more than half of the US Senate's 50 Republicans praised Pelosi for following through with her visit, Trump argued beforehand that it was a bad idea.
"Why is Nancy Pelosi getting involved with China and Taiwan other than to make trouble and more money, possibly involving insider trading and information for her cheatin' husband?" he asked in the run-up to the trip, referring to her husband's purchase of semiconductor stocks ahead of a successful vote by Congress on a bill to subsidize the industry in the US.
However, Paul Pelosi sold this stock at a loss before the vote, with a spokesman saying the decision to sell was made to combat "misinformation" linking the purchase to the vote. Pelosi has denied ever sharing insider information with her husband.
Pelosi also met with the chairman of the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer while in Taiwan, as the company's planned Arizona factory looks set to benefit from the US subsidies, once President Joe Biden signs the bill into law.
"Everything she touches turns to Chaos, Disruption, and 'crap,'" Trump continued. "The China mess is the last thing she should be involved in... Crazy Nancy just inserts herself and causes great friction and hatred. She is such a mess!!!"