Nancy Pelosi appears determined to visit Taiwan on her Asia trip this week, and Beijing is promising an unspecified military response if it does. We hope the White House is prepared for all eventualities, but the best response to China’s growing threats would finally be to take Taiwan’s defense seriously.
A largely symbolic visit by the Speaker of the House is not a good reason to trigger a US-China confrontation. But China has raised its threats even beyond its usual bluster, and President Biden hasn’t helped by recently saying in public that the Pentagon thinks now is not the right time for his visit. It encouraged Beijing leaders to think they could arrest Ms Pelosi if they got any louder, which they have become.