Pelosi and Biden, Taiwan and China


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday.


J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

President Biden has a behavior of making hassle when he pops off to the press, and this week’s entry within the canon involved a mooted go to by

Nancy Pelosi

to Taiwan. He didn’t make the journey simpler for anybody, least of all of the House Speaker.

Mrs. Pelosi hasn’t confirmed if she’s going to Taiwan subsequent month, however information of the journey leaked earlier this week and we all know she has invited different Members of Congress to journey along with her. China reacted with its normal fury on the information, and a reporter requested Mr. Biden on Wednesday what he considered it. He replied that “the military” thinks Mrs. Pelosi’s Taiwan journey is “not a good idea right now.” He didn’t elaborate, so the ominous implications have been left hanging.

Naturally Mrs. Pelosi was requested about Mr. Biden’s remarks at her weekly presser. “I think what the President is saying,” she replied, is that “maybe the military was afraid our plane would get shot down or something like that by the Chinese. I don’t know exactly. I didn’t see it. I didn’t hear it. You’re telling me, and I’ve heard it anecdotally, but I haven’t heard it from the President.”

Yikes. The Pentagon fears China would possibly shoot down a U.S. plane carrying the particular person third line to the Presidency?

All of this adopted a warning Tuesday from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman

Zhao Lijian

that Mrs. Pelosi’s Taiwan journey would “have a severe negative impact” on U.S.-China relations and that China would “take strong and resolute measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Perhaps sensing U.S. weak point after Mr. Biden’s comment, on Thursday Foreign Ministry spokesman

Wang Wenbin

escalated: “Should the U.S. side insist on making the visit, China will act strongly to resolutely respond to it and take countermeasures. We mean what we say.”

Mrs. Pelosi’s journey would have symbolic significance as she can be the primary House Speaker to go to Taiwan in 25 years. It would ship a helpful message of solidarity with the island democracy. And now that each she and Mr. Biden have raised the prospect of a navy menace, any choice to remain residence would seem like a retreat below Chinese strain.

China would discover that its bullying threats succeeded, and so would U.S. allies in Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and others within the Asia-Pacific area that fear about U.S. endurance. The walk-back can be felt most acutely in Taiwan, the place the difficulty of U.S. assist within the case of invasion is existential. If China can cease a senior U.S. official from visiting Taiwan, how resolute is America going to be in a capturing conflict?

China isn’t prone to interdict Mrs. Pelosi’s plane, which might quantity to an act of conflict with dangers of escalation. But the general public babbling concerning the risk raises the possibility that her go to turns into a matter of saving face for China. This will increase the danger that China might take another motion in opposition to the U.S. or Taiwan in response.

Mrs. Pelosi nearly has to take the journey now, and we hope it’s uneventful. But perhaps the White House employees is on to one thing when it confines Mr. Biden to a teleprompter.

Journal Editorial Report: The week’s finest and worst from Kim Strassel, Mary O’Grady and Dan Henninger. Images: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI/Getty Images/Reuters Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared within the July 23, 2022, print version.