File photo REUTERS/Tom Brenner
August 1, 2022: There are signs that the Speaker of the United States House, currently in Singapore, will not visit Taiwan, but if she does, it could be veritable dynamite affecting global and domestic politics.
Singapore is his first stop and his delegation also plans to visit Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. High-level meetings are planned throughout the course.
His official itinerary does not include Taiwan. Taiwanese officials have not confirmed his visit. Reports of White House lobbying against such a trip have intensified. China has warned the US president not to play with fire. Western media downgrades it from “could” to “could”. These indicate that Nancy Pelosi is going home without a major diplomatic mess for Joe Biden to sort out. Both are members of the Democratic Party after all.
But these signs will make everything more explosive than at the start if she remains determined. Visiting Taiwan despite all of the above would be seen by Beijing as provocative and cheeky at the highest level. Washington can claim “We are a free country so she can go anywhere”, but China will have the right to think that all the lobbying and anxiety from the White House was just a facade and to become even more more angry.
Will a “holiday” request work in case it comes up? No, given all the commotion and everyone’s attention. Moreover, beautiful sunny beaches are everywhere in Asia. What about visiting friends or relatives? Surely they can benefit from free trips to America so that the whole world can be spared a huge superpower showdown.
Daily updates of important local and international events by Tulsathit Taptim