White House decries China rhetoric over Pelosi Taiwan visit
By AAMER MADHANI, EILEEN NG and ZEN SOO
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is criticizing Beijing’s rhetoric over an expected visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan and vowing the United States “will not take the bait or engage in saber rattling.” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Monday underscored that the decision whether to visit the self-ruled island that China claims as its own was ultimately Pelosi’s. Kirby said administration officials are concerned that China could use the visit as an excuse to take provocative retaliatory steps including military action, such as firing missiles in the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan. Local media in Taiwan say Pelosi is expected to arrive Tuesday night.