Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has seemingly backed off of her reported trip to the controversial island territory of Taiwan during her current diplomatic trip across Asia.
For over a week now the House Speaker has pushed forward with her plans to visit Taiwan despite pushback from both China and the Biden administration. Pelosi was forced to defend the trip after her travel plans were leaked and Biden publicly urged her not to go.
While it seemed for awhile like she was willing to go against Biden’s wishes to shore up the US’s alliance with the Taiwanese rebels, even going so far as to invite ranking Republicans to join her, a recently posted description of her travel plans poured cold water on any hopes of seeing the US defy Chinese aggression.
The press release from the Speaker read:
“Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading a Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region, including visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. The trip will focus on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region.”
“In Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, our delegation will hold high-level meetings to discuss how we can further advance our shared interests and values, including peace and security, economic growth and trade, the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate crisis, human rights and democratic governance.”
Notably absent from the description is any mention of visiting Taiwan, which had been an expected highlight of the trip throughout the week. While this doesn’t necessarily mean she won’t end up there, it certainly paints an image that she backed down after receiving threats from the Communist dictatorship.
On Friday Chinese state media threatened that their military could possibly shoot down Pelosi’s plane if it entered Taiwan, which they view as part of their country. A top ranking official in the Communist government also said that China would view the move as an invasion and justification for them to mover their military into Taiwan to take the island once-and-for-all.
President Xi of China even threatened President Biden directly on a phone call last week, saying of an entry by Pelosi, “Those who play with fire will get burned. Hope the U.S. side can see this clearly.”
The threats from China come after decades of the United States refusing to take a strong stance on the issue, publicly agreeing that China owned the island while also sending billions of dollars of weapons and military training to Taiwanese rebels to help them fight off Chinese advances.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the lack of a global response to stop it, however, China has seemed emboldened to expand their own territory by putting both Hong Kong and Taiwan directly under the rule of the Communist Party.
House Speaker Pelosi’s decision to back off the trip to Taiwan is almost certain to be seen as a victory by the Chinese government. Do you think she should still stop there to show defiance of them or has the US already spent too much time and effort trying to keep Taiwan independent at this point?