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China conducts military drills as Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan

Yahoo Finance’s Kevin Cirilli joins the Live show to discuss key takeaways from Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, tensions rising between the U.S. and China, primary elections, and the Kansas vote preserving abortion rights in the state.

Video Transcript


- Tensions rising between the United States and China following Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, the dust still settling on that. So for more on this, let's bring in Yahoo Finance's contributor Kevin Cirilli. Kevin, making waves in Asia, also making waves in Washington, where you are. What are you hearing about the fallout from that event yesterday and what happens next?

KEVIN CIRILLI: Well, three things. First, China is conducting military drills. Now, we should also note that the United States had previously scheduled military exercises in the Indo-Pacific region scheduled for this week. China secondly also announcing a series of economic sanctions against Taipei, particularly targeting the agricultural sector.

But new comment, thirdly, from Speaker Pelosi as she has departed Taiwan, she says in a new statement, quote, "Sadly, Taiwan has been prevented from participating in global meetings, most recently the World Health Organization, because of objections by the Chinese Communist Party. While they may prevent Taiwan from sending its leaders to global forums, they cannot prevent world leaders or anyone from traveling to Taiwan to pay respect to its flourishing democracy, to highlight its many successes, and to reaffirm our commitment to continued collaboration."

And it's important that we note here that Speaker Pelosi has managed to rally support from not just her own party, but also Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell orchestrating a letter with 25 other Senate Republicans to offer support for Speaker Pelosi's trip to Taiwan. She becomes the highest-ranking congressional leader to visit Taiwan and since Newt Gingrich traveled there in 1997.

- Kevin, let's turn our attention to domestic politics, certainly a very busy night yesterday with those primaries in multiple states, a lot of attention being focused on those results in Kansas, where voters were asked whether, in fact, they wanted to enshrine a ban on abortion within the state Constitution. I mean, that was a pretty huge margin.

KEVIN CIRILLI: Massive, really important message that the voters of Kansas sent to lawmakers. And it's one that got reaction from President Biden. President Biden saying in a statement that was released after that that the voters of Kansas had elected for there to be-- for Americans in this case, Kansas to be able to choose their own health care.

And as a result, if you look at the midterm elections, many in the pro-choice movement are hoping that the Kansas results will signal that Democrats are poised to have momentum on this particular issue. Kansas is a deeply conservative state. Kansas is a state that went against a state constitutional ban now, the first state to do so against abortion since that ruling just a couple of weeks ago.

Now, beyond that, beyond Kansas, I also have my eye on Arizona, where former President Trump was able to pick up all of, virtually sweep the candidates whom he backed in Republican establishment primaries. So some fascinating developments from that political junkies can decipher this morning as a result of the primaries yesterday.

- Well, Kevin, I'm going to have you decipher it really quick. I mean, what is it-- how does it set things up going into the midterms? If you think about those candidates who were backed by President Trump, it's kind of a mixed picture. But also they did get some help from Democrats, too, right, in terms of the ads they ran.

KEVIN CIRILLI: For sure. And that's the biggest unknown. And this is the biggest difference from the previous election cycles to this current one, which is how much of this is Democrats saying essentially we want to face unelectable, ultra-conservative, ultra-MAGA candidates? And we won't know that until November.

But secondly, I mean, Speaker Pelosi has offered a tacit endorsement of this type of strategy. It is a huge political gamble, but it's one that they have their eye on dating back to Alaska, when Senator Lisa Murkowski ran, a Republican, ran a write-in campaign and was able to rally the moderate vote, rally the centrist vote. It's one that you're watching unfold in Pennsylvania, where the gubernatorial election, you now have a handful of Republican state legislators who are backing the Democratic candidate there, Josh Shapiro, in order to go against Doug Mastriano, who is considered an ultra-conservative, ultra-MAGA choice.

And then in Arizona, look back to the 2020 presidential election. President Biden was able to carry that state by just a sliver of a percentage point to defeat former President Trump. It's a state that Trump carried against Clinton by about six percentage points back in 2016.

How did Biden do it? By getting that moderate vote in Maricopa County, by getting the McCain contingency of the Republican Party to back him. And so that strategy, I think a lot of centrist Democrats, pragmatic progressives are looking at to see how to form that type of coalition.