“Our visit reiterates that America stands with Taiwan,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday.
“This is How the U.S. Will Stand With Taiwan,” wrote Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) for the New York Times on August 3, 2022.
In his staunch defense of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan, Senator Menendez, who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, laid out a firm diplomatic strategy for preventing Taiwan from suffering the same fate as Ukraine.
Could a strategy of stronger diplomatic support- exemplified by House Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan- really work?
Alternately praised and panned in the press- by conservative and liberal critics alike- the Speaker’s delegation visit to Taiwan provoked an international outcry from journalists, policy experts, and government officials.
“Questions mount over whether Pelosi’s Taiwan trip is worth the consequences,” wrote Stephen Collinson for CNN on August 3.
“In China, as well as the US, domestic politics may be creating a dangerous moment over Taiwan- a trend the visit from the California Democrat may have only accelerated,” concluded Collinson. He was hardly alone.
Some were in support of the visit; others denigrated the trip as unnecessary, performative, and likely to further erode an already fraught political situation.
From those who defended Pelosi’s choice to defy the explicit command of the Chinese Communist Party and the implicit request of the Biden Administration not to make Taiwan a stop on her official procession, Ukraine was frequently mentioned as a cautionary tale.
It is a cautionary tale we must not repeat, according to these authorities.
“Xi Jinping, the hypernationalist president of the People’s Republic of China,” warned Sen. Menendez in his NTY op-ed, “is no doubt taking notes and learning lessons from Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine to apply to his plans for Taiwan.”