Should Speaker Pelosi visit Taiwan?

There are currently rumors spreading around that Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is considering a trip to Taiwan. AFAICT, the purpose of the trip is to “show support” for the Taiwanese government and people. The White House is openly (but not vehemently) opposed to the idea and President Biden has publicly that “it’s not a good idea right now.” Who knows what the WH is saying behind closed doors. For their part, the government of China is 100% opposed. They have vowed to take “resolute and forceful” measures but I can’t tell if that’s to prevent the trip, repercussions of the trip, or both.

IMO, it would have been better if Pelosi had never planned such a trip but we can’t unwind that clock so we’re left with either she goes as planned or she doesn’t. Going will be confrontational without much benefit, IMO. I think that we can continue to show support for Taiwan without needlessly poking the bear. Not going will make us appear weak to some both here and abroad.

To me, the cost benefit analysis of going doesn’t justify the risk. If it were North Korea making similar threats, I’d say go ahead. We’re used to their blustering. China is different.

The possible repercussions are unknowable, so the balancing of pros and cons is pure speculation. That’s true all the way up to the White House level.

I’m hoping that they’ve learned a lesson from Ukraine. Giving in to Putin because of what he might do if provoked has been a failing strategy throughout. China will push and push and push, taking advantage of any perceived weakness.

Every interaction between the two countries is fraught because - like Russia - China does not think like us. It’s also true that - like Russia - China responds only to force, doesn’t have to pay much attention to its public, and can absorb enormous losses if necessary.

I think I’m coming down on the side of not showing weakness. China will be furious but they’re always furious. We need to do this.

A lot of U.S. governmental officials have visited Taiwan before and there’s been no war as a result of such.

The problem with the “we had better not provoke a crisis by visiting Taiwan” is that this is the, well, Danegeld principle. It is not as if China is saying, “You just keep Pelosi home and we’ll never raise a fuss again.” On the contrary, if they see they can push Biden around on this, they’ll push even more aggressively on 1,000 other things in the future.

China publicly complaining about the proposed visit gives the U.S. little choice but to go through with it. Sovereign countries do not allow their diplomacy to be dictated by others. The U.S. should ask the Chinese for concessions to convince us to not proceed with the visit.

Why do we continually need to kowtow to China? Trump stood up to them and I don’t recall them nuking us OR invading Taiwan during his term.

For a given value of “stood up to them”. He was kind of all over the map on China, to be honest, sometimes on the same day.

But I agree that we shouldn’t let their threats determine what we do, even if I’m not entirely convinced Pelosi going to Taiwan right now is the best idea.

When Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich visited Taiwan in 1997, China had a much weaker military and wasn’t nearly so threatening:

China said Thursday it was confused over Newt Gingrich’s visits to Beijing and rival Taiwan and hoped his comments did not mark a change in U.S. policy.

I see no advantage to her going. The Chinese government will use it internally, as part of their irredentist propaganda campaign falsely claiming that the U.S. wants to change the status quo.

Biden has repeatedly said he would defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion, albeit with subsequent State Department walk-backs. This probably-would strategic ambiguity is not going to be reinforced by Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden disagreeing on the side-issue of high-level official visits.

China’s word on anything has the market value of sand in a desert on a hot day.

Now they’re talking about shooting Pelosi’s plane down.

I don’t know much, but I do know that this will never happen.

The fact that China feels comfortable making such a statement is significant.

Because previous administrations condoned those sort of statements and backed down. China is like a little kid pushing boundaries of international law and relationships and our reaction has almost always been Don’t Piss Off China™

I hate Pelosi with a passion but this is one of the rare times that I commend her for having more courage to act than all of the other politicians in Washington put together.

They’ve never threatened to murder the 3rd most powerful politician in the US. This is arrogance on steroids.

She should distribute Winnie the Pooh books to children in Taiwan.

Exactly. The step Biden has to take right now is double-down and maybe send some cabinet members along with Pelosi.

Awesome idea. Make it bi-partisan with Schumer, McCarthy and McConnell and add the Secretaries of State and Defense Blinkin and Austin.

It’s a little more complicated than that.

Reading that and taking into account that it is a state-run paper and nothing like that would be written with the Chinese government’s OK, the most generous interpretation is that they are leaving shooting down the military escort planes as an alternative.

If they do that, they’re declaring war against the United States.

China would view it as defending against a US invasion. But yeah, there is no way that wouldn’t result in a shooting war.

If we wanted to invade China, we’d send the entire damn Air Force and not, at best, two fighter escorts protecting the third-highest-ranked politician in the United States. So China’s stance is dubious.

That’s not breaking news.
Ownership of Taiwan
Pre-invasion ownership of Tibet
The Pachen Lama is happy being imprisoned for treason since age 3
Their human rights record
Spratly Islands re: territorial claims on the South China Sea