US policy toward Taiwan is all about “strategic ambiguity.” That means every trip and remark has to be just right.
How reckless can a trip to Taiwan be?
For House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, potentialtravel plans have already caused a domestic political debate and a minor foreign policy fracas.
On Monday, Taiwan held routine air raid drills amid fears that China, antagonized by a senior American representative planning to travel there, may pursue military escalation against Taiwan, the neighboring democratic island that Beijing claims as its own.
Everyone from President Joe Biden to Trump alumni to a former speaker of the House has been weighing in on Pelosi’s itinerary.
The visit, potentially planned for next month, brings new attention to the balancing act of how the US handles the status of Taiwan. It’s a complex policy filled with diplomatic nuance, in an attempt to smooth relations with China while also supporting Taiwan against Chinese aggression. All of this has been accentuated by China’s rapid rise economically and militarily, which has focused US energy on countering its influence worldwide.