Opinion: Should Nancy Pelosi Resign Over Taiwan Visit?

Matt Lillywhite

Despite numerous warnings from Biden administration officials, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently visited Taiwan as part of her Asia tour. 

Pelosi met with Taiwan's President, Tsai Ing-wen, and assured her of the US's support despite China's growing rhetoric, per the New York Times. "The world faces a choice between democracy and autocracy," she said. "America's determination to preserve democracy here in Taiwan and around the world remains ironclad." 

China Is Angry That Pelosi Visited Taiwan.

Pelosi's trip has angered China and raised fears of a potential crisis in the Taiwan Strait. Her visit came amid increasingly vehement warnings from China, which claims Taiwan as its own.

The President of China, Xi Jinping, has frequently vowed to reunify Taiwan with the Chinese mainland. Quoting a statement by Xi Jinping in the BBC:

"No one should underestimate the Chinese people's staunch determination, firm will, and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled and will definitely be fulfilled."

Beijing strongly opposed the speaker's visit and claimed her trip was "a serious violation" of the one-China principle that states Taiwan is part of China. Quoting a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China:

"The Taiwan Strait is facing a new round of tensions and severe challenges, and the fundamental cause is the repeated moves by the Taiwan authorities and the United States to change the status quo. The Taiwan authorities have kept seeking U.S. support for their independence agenda. They refuse to recognize the 1992 Consensus, go all out to push forward “de-sinicization”, and promote “incremental independence”. The United States, for its part, has been attempting to use Taiwan to contain China. It constantly distorts, obscures and hollows out the one-China principle, steps up its official exchanges with Taiwan, and emboldens “Taiwan independence” separatist activities. These moves, like playing with fire, are extremely dangerous. Those who play with fire will perish by it."

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby recently said China is likely to retaliate against Pelosi's recent trip to Taiwan.

Kirby said China could "fire missiles in the Taiwan Strait or around Taiwan." He also said China could conduct "operations that break historical norms, such as large-scale air entry into Taiwan's air defense identification zone." 

Taiwan Is Concerned About A Potential Conflict With China.

"Under China's leader, Xi Jinping, the People's Liberation Army has upgraded to the point where a campaign to seize Taiwan seems increasingly plausible," according to The New York Times. "What matters is whether China thinks they can do it," said Oriana Skylar Mastro. "Not whether we think they can do it."

Unfortunately, the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defense believes China may be gearing up for armed conflict in the future. "After China announced military exercises in six sea zones close to Taiwan, the island's defense ministry said it had no doubt what message Beijing wanted to send: "that they seek a cross-strait resolution by force instead of peaceful means."

It's also worth noting that FBI Director Christopher Wray recently stated that China is the "biggest long-term threat" to the United States and Western allies' economic and national security. However, a direct military confrontation involving the United States and China appears unlikely for now, per CNN.

Should Nancy Pelosi Resign Over Her Controversial Visit To Taiwan?

There's a compelling argument that inflaming tensions with a nuclear superpower is a strong reason to resign. That's especially true if another Taiwan strait crisis occurs due to Nancy Pelosi's visit.

"The risk of an unintended crisis resulting from large-scale military posturing by China is uncomfortably high," said China analyst Amanda Hsiao in Newsweek.

"This is an exceptionally dangerous situation, perhaps more so than Ukraine," noted Evan Medeiros, a China expert at Georgetown University, in The New York Times. "The risks of escalation are immediate and substantial."

On the other hand, some people believe Pelosi's trip was an important show of solidarity between the United States and Taiwan amid the growing threat of an invasion. According to CNN, "She (Pelosi) demonstrated to China that the United States would not back down to apocalyptic rhetoric from Beijing and that it would operate where it wants in the Asia-Pacific region, whatever the rising regional superpower thinks about it."

Finally, it's worth noting that Speaker Nancy Pelosi published an opinion piece in The Washington Post that discussed the rationale behind her trip to Taiwan. "In the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) accelerating aggression, our congressional delegation’s visit should be seen as an unequivocal statement that America stands with Taiwan, our democratic partner, as it defends itself and its freedom."

What do you think? Should Nancy Pelosi resign? Or was her visit to Taiwan a good idea? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And if you think more people should read his article, share it on social media.

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