Nancy Pelosi seems determined to visit Taiwan on her Asian trip this week, and Beijing is promising an unspecified military response if she does. We hope the White House is ready for all contingencies, but the best response to China’s growing threats would be at long last to take the defense of Taiwan seriously.
A largely symbolic visit by the Speaker of the House isn’t a good reason to trigger a U.S.-China showdown. But China has raised its threats even beyond its usual bluster, and President Biden didn’t help by saying in public recently that the Pentagon thinks it is the wrong time for her visit. This encouraged Beijing’s leaders to think they could stop Mrs. Pelosi if they were even more obstreperous, which is what they have become.