China was not at all happy about the prospects of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visiting Taiwan as she had planned. They went so far as to threaten to shoot down her plane if she attempted to land in the contested nation.
The threat may have worked as Taiwan is not included on the itinerary her office released Sunday morning. Is she bluffing? Does she plan on visiting Taiwan anyway but is keeping it secret for security reasons? Or did she cave? According to Fox News:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office announced early Sunday morning that she plans to visit at least four Asian countries during her trip to the region, but a stop in Taiwan was notably left out.
Pelosi is leading a Congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region that includes stops in Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. The trip will center on mutual security, economic partnership and democratic governance in the Indo-Pacific region, her office said in a press release.
“Today, our Congressional delegation travels to the Indo-Pacific to reaffirm America’s strong and unshakeable commitment to our allies and friends in the region,” Pelosi said in the release.
“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,” she continued.
Pelosi added, “Under the strong leadership of President Biden, America is firmly committed to smart, strategic engagement in the region, understanding that a free and flourishing Indo-Pacific is crucial to prosperity in our nation and around the globe.”
The Congressional delegation will include Reps. Gregory Meeks of New York, Mark Takano of California, Suzan DelBene of Washington, Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Andy Kim of New Jersey.
Generally speaking, I’m not a fan of any Americans backing down to threats from China regardless of the circumstance. This one is different. I truly hope she doesn’t go, not because I fear for her safety but because neither she nor any other member of Congress has any business going to Taiwan right now. I’m not crazy about any aspects of this trip. We’re on the verge of economic collapse with tens of millions of Americans struggling to make it. Why should members of Congress be traveling to Asia for a working vacation at a time like this?
It seems inevitable that China is going to invade Taiwan at some point. It could be tomorrow. It could be next year. It could be further down the road. But they have all but declared their intentions and appear to be seeing how the Russian invasion of Ukraine plays out before launching an invasion of their own.
With everything that’s happening in America, the last thing we need is our leaders doing something stupid to spark WWIII.