“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.