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A Costly Passivity Toward China
Nancy Pelosi receives the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon, Taiwan’s highest civilian honor, from President Tsai Ing-wen on August 03, 2022, in Taipei, Taiwan. (Chien Chih-Hung/Office of The President via Getty Images)
(Chien Chih-Hung/Office of The President via Getty Images)

A Costly Passivity Toward China

Walter Russell Mead

“Utterly reckless” is how one foreign-policy commentator described Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan. With China announcing Monday that its military drills around Taiwan would continue, Thomas Friedman’s critique, generally believed to reflect high-level sentiment in the White House, resonated widely among national-security insiders worried about Beijing’s newly assertive military stance.

The real picture is mixed. Mrs. Pelosi’s visit had significant positive effects both at home and abroad, and its impact on Chinese policy was less dramatic than her critics allege.

At home, nothing is more important than strengthening the American consensus about the need to counter China’s aggressive posture in the Pacific. By traveling to Taiwan, the House Speaker nailed her colors to the mast: The defense of Taiwan is a cause that center-left Democrats can’t ignore. This was an important signal to send, and Mrs. Pelosi should be commended for it.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal.

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