No American President has visited Taiwan since 1960. Why? Because U.S. officials have long wanted to maintain good relations with Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the island and its nearly 24 million free citizens. Yet given China’s aggression, the most important consideration for U.S. policy shouldn’t be keeping Beijing happy. The goal should be to show Beijing that America is serious about advancing its interests and upholding its values.
America’s national interests here are clear.
The subjugation of Hong Kong shows that China is ready to fulfill its dreams of domination, America and its allies be damned. Taiwan is at or near the top of the list of Beijing’s next targets, and as a vital U.S. partner, it is on the frontlines of containing Chinese expansionism. It makes sense for the leader of the free world to show support for Taiwan — and reassure the world of America’s commitment to the region — in such a dangerous time.