Below is a transcript of an interview with Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks of New York that aired Sunday, August 7, 2022, on “Face the Nation.”
Margaret Brennan: China unleashed its most dramatic display of military power in decades with four days of war games off the coast of Taiwan, all in response to Speaker Pelosi who led a congressional delegation to the self-governing island last week.
Margaret Brennan: We’re joined now by Congressman Gregory Mix, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Good morning, Congressman.
Actor Gregory Mix: Good morning. Good to be with you.
Margaret Brennan: Well, you’ve been cruising the world, but I imagine you’ll soon be back in Washington to vote on this huge spending bill. It’s a big win, probably, but it’s a tenth of the size of the original president’s order. Is what’s about to pass this gas price cut enough to help the Democrats win in November?
re \ come back. Mix: There is no doubt. This is a big and important bill. It reduces inflation. She is making sure that we can now lower the price of medicines. Helps fight climate change. And – we’ll go ahead. This aligns with the gains already made in a bipartisan manner during this Congress such as bipartisan victories in infrastructure, gun control, CHIPS and science, the Veterans’ PACT Act, the Select Committee, and the first black woman elected or appointed to be the Supreme Court. . So, yeah, that’s the icing on the cake moving forward with Democratic accomplishments in a bipartisan fashion this election year.
Margaret Brennan: But despite everything I just said, I know you know that many polls, including the one from CBS, predicted the Republicans would win a majority in the House. Can you reverse that?
re \ come back. Mix: Oh, sure. I think the conversations as we entered the crucial months of September and October, look, we’ve had a low unemployment rate all along. We see a retroactive court. And trying to deprive women of their right to choose, we fight and defend that.
Margaret Brennan: On your trip to Taiwan, we saw these dramatic Chinese war games. In response to this visit, China cut some diplomatic ties with the United States in protest of the fact that you went to Taipei with Speaker of the House Pelosi. Has this trip backfired by undermining some of the Biden administration’s priorities?
re \ come back. Mix: Not at all, you know, obviously managing Biden by being there, by increasing economic ties there, is something that shows that the region is very important. And President Biden, being a former special senator, understands the difference between the executive branch and the legislative branch, you know. And so what we have to do at this time, because it’s very clear — it’s a very tense moment on the Taiwan Strait and that’s why it’s so important that all parties respect the status quo, which we did when we were there, and not resort to force or to change things. Equally important, the United States redoubled our economic, cultural, and security cooperation with Taiwan in the face of Beijing’s aggression. So this was a very convenient trip at the time for the area. And I think when we talked to the Taiwanese, they appreciated our presence there. You must have seen over 250,000 Taiwanese tracing our journey in the largest building in Taiwan, a big sign saying we love you, Nancy Pelosi –
Margaret Brennan: Mmm.
re \ come back. Mix: People lined the streets when we were driving to our hotel. Apparently the Taiwanese were very happy–
Margaret Brennan: No doubt.
re \ come back. Mix: Let me tell you. We were – all our allies, all our partners and friends in the region, and the other countries we visited, very happy to be there.
Margaret Brennan: But Beijing was — Beijing was angry. They have cut off climate change talks with the United States, and cut off other cooperation. Indeed, Beijing said this is the only issue on which the United States and China, the world’s two most powerful countries, could conflict with Beijing, and said the visit of the third-highest US government official on a military plane was a “provocative,” sending a strong signal that the United States The United States stands with Taiwan. Is the United States on the side of Taiwan?
re \ come back. Mix: We did nothing that was — if you look at the provocative, the one that was sending missiles over Taiwan and China encircling the island was, in fact, Beijing. This was nothing unusual, this year members of Congress had traveled to Taiwan previously. I’ve been to Taiwan many times, and I’ve traveled to China. But we will not allow, and Speaker Pelosi is absolutely right on this, that to have President Xi dictate where we should or should not go, we will stand by our friends, partners, and allies. Obviously, Taiwan is one of those. So the provocation – the provocation is not us. It is the Beijing government. We will not allow that to happen.
Margaret Brennan: But in terms of this policy for decades, it’s been a policy of strategic ambiguity, the United States sells arms to Taiwan, but doesn’t promise to actually defend it. Do you want to change that? Does Congress need to prepare for a Chinese invasion of Taiwan?
re \ come back. Mix: Look, what we’ve done, and I think what we’ve shown that we’re going to do is give and we’ve given in that policy defensive weapons to Taiwan. Ultimately, it must be decided by the people sitting down, not China, not Beijing, not Xi, to continue his provocative actions. It is his provocative actions that are trying –
Margaret Brennan: Right.
re \ come back. Mix: – Change the status quo. What we need at this time is for the status quo to remain, and that is the best way to reduce tensions, not the provocations of Beijing.
Margaret Brennan: Congressman Mix, thank you for your time this morning. We’ll be right back.