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Biden ‘not worried’ about Chinese retaliation to Pelosi's Taiwan visit

President Joe Biden said Monday he is “not worried” about Chinese retaliation over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last week.

“I’m not worried, but I’m concerned that they’re moving as much as they are,” Biden told reporters at Dover Air Force Base while en route to Kentucky on Monday. “But I don’t think they’re going to do anything more than they are.”

China has launched a series of countermeasures and military actions after Pelosi made good on her plans to travel to Taiwan, an island China claims as part of its territory. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday halted relations with the U.S. on a range of issues — including climate change and military ties — saying Pelosi’s visit to the island republic “gravely undermines China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

China has also announced sanctions against Pelosi and her family, and retaliated with military action in the days following her trip — firing missiles over the island and launching military exercises off Taiwan’s coast.

Tensions between the U.S. and China over Pelosi’s trip began before she ever set foot on the island. Plans for the speaker’s trip to Taiwan had been widely reported ahead of her visit, sparking complaints and warnings from the Chinese government. But Pelosi, a longtime critic of China, waved off Beijing’s lashing out while praising Taiwan for its democracy.

The White House has repeatedly said Pelosi had every right to visit Taiwan — while staying quiet on whether it agreed with her decision to go through with the trip — and that there is no reason for China’s escalation of tensions.

Biden — who is freshly out of isolation following his bout with Covid — told reporters on Monday that Pelosi’s decision to go to Taiwan was “her decision.”

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