At a time of global American retreat, it’s refreshing to see some real toughness in foreign policy: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan. 

She landed on the island Tuesday, brushing aside a campaign of threats from Beijing (including calls from Xi Jinping to President Joe Biden and noise about shooting down her plane), Chinese plane movements against Taiwanese airspace and cyberattacks on key Taiwanese government websites and the country’s largest airport. 

Taipei, Taiwan
Demonstrators in Taipei, Taiwan protested the arrival of Nancy Pelosi on Aug. 2, 2022.
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That’s good news for our ally and for the larger American project.

Simply going ahead with the visit is powerful defiance of Xi’s murderous, hegemonic ambitions and a resounding restatement of (in Pelosi’s words) “America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.” 

And the Taiwanese people know it. 

Pelosi’s presence — she’s the highest-ranking US official to visit the island in 25 years — is all the more crucial because of Biden’s repeated bumblings on the US posture toward China’s aggression against Taiwan. 

Beijing, naturally, called the visit “a major political provocation” as it threatened to encircle the country with troops for live-fire exercises.  

On the contrary: It’s a move both morally and strategically necessary — made so by China’s intransigence in its baseless claims on Taiwan. As is Pelosi’s scheduled meeting Wednesday with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen. 

Nancy Pelosi
Pelosi’s status as the highest ranking US official to visit Taiwan in 25 years is significant in asserting the US’s solidarity with Taiwan.
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If only Biden hadn’t suggested “it’s not a good idea right now.” This was simply siding with free people against a tyranny’s bluster.

As the speaker wrote in a Washington Post oped concurrent with her trip, “America’s solidarity with Taiwan is more important today than ever — not only to the 23 million people of the island but also to millions of others oppressed and menaced by the PRC.”

Amen. 

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