New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should skip a planned trip to Taiwan to avoid angering China and ensure it continues helping America defeat Russia in Ukraine during a Friday CNBC appearance.
“Just stay home,” Friedman said. “This whole trip is completely out of context. Eyes on the prize. The prize is Ukraine defeating Russia. China’s helping us do that right now.” (RELATED: China Is Quietly Supplying Russia’s War Machine In Ukraine: REPORT)
President Joe Biden considers Friedman to be one of his favorite journalists, according to Politico. Biden invited the New York Times columnist to the White House for lunch in May, where the two had an off-the-record conversation.
“We now are focused, have to be focused, on basically Ukraine pushing Russia out of Ukraine,” Friedman said. “That is hugely important. China is playing an important role in that. Right now is the time to have good relations with China, open dialogue, and not doing anything to provoke them, because eyes on the prize, the prize is Ukraine pushing Russia out of Ukraine, and for that, China is helping us — again, for its own reasons.”
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, China has become a buyer for Russian oil, with purchases up 55% from 2021. China increased imports of Russian goods in the wake of the invasion as Western countries levied sanctions on Russia.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi planned to visit Taiwan in April, but postponed the trip after contracting COVID-19, The Washington Post reported.
“I love Taiwan, it’s an amazing country,” Friedman said. “So much has changed on Taiwan over the last 40 years. There’s only one thing grandma used to say that hasn’t changed in Taiwan, that’s its geography. It’s still a tiny island off the coast of a giant mainland. I’m hugely impressed with Taiwan, I love its democracy, I love its technology. I just wouldn’t be poking China right now.”
Friedman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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