New axle? – New York Times

In this situation, the US has no easy choice.

If Pelosi had canceled the visit, she would have rejected the wishes of the Taiwanese leaders. The visit, according to my colleague Amy Qin from Taiwan, “raises Taiwan’s legitimacy on the international stage.”

As Edward Wong, the Times diplomat correspondent from Washington, said, “Proponents of the trip say the United States is sending Beijing a signal that Taiwan is important enough for us, and we are going to engage at the highest level.” He described the trip as a form of “diplomatic containment” in an attempt to remind China of the possible consequences of invading Taiwan.

A cancellation, by contrast, could send a signal that China can dictate US relations with Taiwan. This could repeat the mistakes the US has made with Putin over the past 20 years. when he repeatedly tried to calm him down.

Putin invaded Georgia, annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, killed Russian dissidents, and interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. Each time, the US has avoided a major confrontation, partly fearing that it might spark a larger war. Putin, believing the US and Western Europe to be weak, responded last year with a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

If China decides that the US will not ultimately stand up for Taiwan, the chances of an invasion could increase.

But the risks of a confrontational approach are also real. Pelosi’s visit, for example, could lead to Chinese aircraft approaching Taiwan in a new way. “If they enter Taiwan’s territorial airspace, an incident could happen whether Xi wants it or not,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the German Marshall Fund’s Asia Program in the United States. said the Times.