The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Should Pelosi have canceled her Taiwan visit?

People walk past a billboard welcoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in Taipei, Taiwan, on Aug 3. (Chiang Ying-ying/AP)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) attempt to square the circle in providing your readers with an explanation as to why she insisted on a trip to Taiwan [“Why I’m leading a delegation to Taiwan,” op-ed, Aug. 3] was as uncompelling as her trip was counterproductive and reckless. Perhaps that is why she waited until the last paragraph to make her case that “by traveling to Taiwan, we honor our commitment to democracy.”

In concise English, what does that mean? Perhaps if the speaker were truly committed to democracy, she might be interested in drafting legislation to prevent recurrences of the Jan. 6 riot to overturn the 2020 election or reaching a modus operandi for governing with House Republicans, as absurd as that sounds.

An overwhelming number of Americans fear that this country is on the wrong track. And many believe a civil war is looming. Pray tell how the Taiwan visit helped secure democracy. You cannot.

Harlan Ullman, Washington

The writer is a senior adviser at the Atlantic Council.

My thanks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her Aug. 3 op-ed, which articulated the reasons for, and importance of, the congressional delegation visit to Taiwan.

I was a young English girl in London during World War II. The support of the United States through the Lend-Lease program, and then by entering the war, prevented my country from being taken over by a power-hungry dictatorship. It isn’t hard to imagine the worldwide consequences if the United States had not taken a strong leadership role back then.

I have been a U.S. citizen for the past 54 years and am proud, and gratified, to see Ms. Pelosi and her delegation take a leadership role to honor commitments and defend democratic governments. There are other democracies in the world, but the United States is the oldest and is best suited to lead in its defense. Democracy is worth it.

Sylvia Lewis, Greenbelt

The Aug. 3 editorial “Limiting the damage” argued that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) should have waited for an optimal time to visit Taiwan, but will that time ever come?

Those who didn’t want her to go don’t seem to know — or care. Even as the United States continues to supply fighter jets and missiles to Taiwan to help defend itself, somehow a stopover by a legislator is considered more provocative.

For those toeing the Communist Party line, knowingly or otherwise, moving the goalposts is a constant refrain. But the double standard has been astonishing in recent years. The call between then-President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen seemed somehow more serious than the ongoing warplane incursions across the Taiwan Strait median line.

A desire to maintain de facto democracy and independence somehow holds the same weight as threats of total destruction. Has it ever occurred to people that China, far from being the victim that it purports to be, has the agency to simply not invade another country?

Jerry Chen, New York