https:\/\/thehill-com.translate.goog\/policy\/international\/3585185-ex-obama-ambassador-to-china-calls-pelosi-trip-a-provocation-that-makes-biden-look-weak\/?_x_tr_sl=en&_x_tr_tl=zh-CN&_x_tr_hl=zh-CN&_x_tr_pto=scFormer Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana who served as ambassador to China under former President Obama, called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi\u2019s (D-Calif.) Taiwan visit Tuesday a \u201cprovocation,\u201d adding it made President Biden look \u201cweak.\u201d Baucus in an interview Tuesday evening with CNN\u2019s Jake Tapper repeatedly warned the trip by Pelosi was edging the U.S. closer to recognizing Taiwan as an independent nation \u2014 which the longtime senator suggested would be a disaster.\u201cThis is a provocation because the Chinese government is very opposed to this,\u201d said Baucus, who served as ambassador to China from 2014 to 2017.He said Pelosi\u2019s visit was much more important than a visit by a random member of the House.\u201cDon\u2019t forget, she\u2019s Speaker. She\u2019s not just an ordinary member of Congress,\u201d he said. \u201cAdd to that she\u2019s a very strong hawk. She\u2019s very critical of China.\u201d\u201cReally, what this is doing, it\u2019s pushing the support of democracy a little closer to crossing the line into independence. That\u2019s the real problem here,\u201d Baucus said. Taiwan wouldn\u2019t risk the \u201cdisaster\u201d of formally declaring its independence from China, the former ambassador said, but China will react if Taiwan looks like it\u2019s leaning toward what the Chinese government considers an \u201cexistential\u201d threat. \u201cWe are playing with fire when we get pretty close to the line, and Pelosi is pushing us much, much closer to recognizing Taiwan as an independent country. And once we get there, we\u2019re going to pay a price,\u201d Baucus said.Baucus, who served with Biden for decades in the Senate, also said Pelosi was making Biden look weak in front of the Chinese, who he said value power and strength above all.\u201cDon\u2019t forget, too, Speaker Pelosi \u2014 it\u2019s a free pass for her. She\u2019s not the president. She doesn\u2019t have to worry about conducting foreign policy worldwide. She\u2019s a member of Congress. She doesn\u2019t have to worry about it,\u201d Baucus said. \u201cShe does a little but not much. So poor Joe Biden, he looks weak because he either told her not to go and he looks weak to the Chinese guys, or he\u2019s weak because he told her not to go and she went anyway.\u201dPelosi touched down in Taipei on Tuesday after kicking off her congressional delegation tour Monday in Singapore. Ahead of her arrival, speculation circulated about whether the Speaker would include the self-governed island claimed by China on her itinerary \u2014 which also includes Malaysia, South Korea and Japan \u2014 and Taiwan\u2019s addition remains controversial.Baucus\u2019s criticism was striking because of the tenor of his remarks and his stature as both a Democrat and a former diplomat to China.It was also in contrast to the views of many sitting lawmakers in both parties who have backed Pelosi\u2019s Taiwan trip.Many lawmakers in both parties have offered support for Pelosi both because they wanted to see her go to Taiwan in spite of China\u2019s opposition and because they did not want the Biden administration to stand in the way of the top official in the House from making such a trip.