Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan was ill-advised at a precarious time for the world

If Nancy Pelosi went to Taiwan with the aim of making its people feel more secure, then her visit may be judged to have enjoyed mixed results at best.

It was a rare visit and president Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan was no doubt delighted to greet Speaker Pelosi, technically second only to vice-president Kamala Harris in seniority. But it is not obvious the visit enjoyed support from the White House, or signalled any substantial new commitment of American resources to the defence of Taiwan.

Ms Pelosi, in other words, was engaged in gesture politics, albeit of a lofty kind, and the gesture was taken to be an exceptionally rude one in Beijing, which has chosen to ignore the nuances of how far Speaker Pelosi was acting with the authority of President Biden.


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