February 4, 2023

The Biden administration insists its stance on Taiwan has not changed, a message Mr. Biden passed on to Mr. Xi during their phone call, according to the White House. Long-standing US policy recognizes, without endorsing it, China’s position that Taiwan is part of its territory, and states that the United States would protect the island without saying exactly how.

But the president has little official authority over Ms. Pelosi and her travel plans. And rising anti-China sentiment in both the Democratic and Republican parties makes it politically inconvenient for Mr. Biden to openly discourage her journey.

Some Chinese and US analysts have downplayed the risks of military escalation, noting that Mr Xi would likely want to avoid unpredictability ahead of this year’s party congress. On Friday, a White House national security spokesperson said: told reporters that the United States had seen no evidence of imminent Chinese military activity against Taiwan.

At the same time, domestic politics, both in China and the United States, had left little room for graceful de-escalation, said Chen Qi, a professor of international relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing. It could cost Democrats a lot of money politically if Ms. Pelosi decided not to visit Taiwan, Professor Chen said in a statement. interview with a journalist for Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency. And China couldn’t afford to be seen as weak in the face of an alleged provocation.

“Now it’s up to who blinks first,” said Professor Chen.

John Liu and Claire Fu contributed research

See also  FirstFT: China could invade Taiwan next year, US Navy chief warns