Despite Beijing’s unprecedentedly harsh warnings, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan as many of us in Japan had fatalistically expected.
She made it "unequivocally clear" that the United States would "not abandon" the island democracy. China, in response, unilaterally established six sea and air zones surrounding Taiwan and began military exercises after she left Taipei.
Beijing had warned that her trip would have a "severe impact” on China-U.S. relations. While 25 Republican senators reportedly support her, her critics such as Tom Friedman of The New York Times criticized the visit as “utterly reckless, dangerous and irresponsible.” Similarly, pundits in Tokyo seem to be either divided or ambivalent over the significance of her Taiwan visit.