Biden Pelosi Postmortem on Taiwan Trip

Photograph Source: 總統府 – 08.03 總統接見美國聯邦眾議院議長裴洛西訪團一行 – CC BY 2.0

(President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, Sec of State Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and White House aide Tara Write)

Biden: Let me bring this small meeting to order.  We are all here.  And this is a new White House Aide, Tara Write, who will provide visuals if we need them.

The purpose of this meeting is… by gosh what is the purpose of this meeting.

(Sullivan and Blinken raise their eyebrows, glance at one another.)

Nancy, what is the agenda?

Pelosi: It is, it is…it has slipped my mind.

Jake Sullivan: (Eagerly raising his hand). The purpose is to do a postmortem on Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan.

Pelosi (Irritated):  I knew that!

(Mumbling under her breath). Smarty pants.

And for your information, the trip was a great success.

I had the support of every Democrat in the Congress – even the progressives. Ro Khanna tweeted support for the trip – and you can’t get much more progressive than that.

And it is not the first time that I delivered this crowd.  Remember the $40 billion with military aid to Ukraine?  I got every Democrat in the House on board – again including all the progressives, The Squad, Jayapal, Khanna, Bernie’s former campaign manager -even Barbara Lee, a real icon.  And she even went to Ukraine with me to boost our proxy war – I mean our stand for freedom and democracy.

Biden:  With all due respect, Nancy, that’s nothing to brag about.  They’re pushovers.  We got all the Dems in the Senate on that $40 billion for war, er, I mean democracy.  Schumer says he didn’t have to lift a finger.  Bernie came running.  Another pushover – no spine, just like in 2016 and 2020.

And Nancy, you should not be so quick to boast.  You had 57 Republicans vote against that $40 billion.  That’s a lot of Congressional Reps for the FBI to investigate. But don’t worry; we’re already on it.  And the 11 GOP Senators who opposed it are also on our list.

Sullivan:  Sir, don’t you think we should evaluate the success of the trip.

It was a great success in my opinion and we have to give you credit for thinking it up.

The ploy of having Speaker Pelosi play the good cop and you the bad cop was brilliant, sir.

You gave the Panda a good poke in the eye.

Biden:  Thanks, Jake.  You are just the kind of man who will be a Secretary of State someday.

Pelosi:  Could we get onto my trip to Taiwan, Puleeze?

Tara Write: (the aide)  May I put something on our screens.  There it is – and also projected on the big screen in front of us.  As you can see it is a map of East Asia.

Let’s look South and then North of Taiwan along the coast of China.

Looking South of Taiwan we see Southeast Asia, the home to the 10 nations of ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations – almost 700 million people, roughly the population of the US and EU combined.  Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.  We need them as allies for our proxy war against China in Taiwan.

The day after Speaker Pelosi landed, they issued a statement from the ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting reiterating the One China policy, an idea that we must stamp out.  and calling for peace and stability.  That was before China’s response so it is pretty clear that the statement was aimed at the Speakers visit. That is a setback for us.

The Deputy PM of Singapore and PM was quite blunt on the matter, saying on August 15 in response to a question about the Speaker’s visit:

“ We are not an ally to America – we conduct our own foreign policy based on our own vital and core interests in a principled manner. We have always upheld our one-China policy and we oppose Taiwanese independence..”

That seems to capture a lot of sentiment among ASEAN nations.

Next let’s look north of Taiwan.  We see three major countries, North Korea, South Korea and Japan.  We rely on South Korea and Japan to be our allies against China in our proxy war in Taiwan.  The newly elected South Korean President refused to meet with Speaker Pelosi as did the Foreign Minister. Then the following week the same FM went on to meet with the Chinese FM in Qingdao.  That is adding insult to insult to insult. This was followed on August 13 by a demonstration of at least 10,000 in Seoul calling for an end to the US-South Korea military alliance and expulsion of US troops!

Going farther North we see Japan – and here we to have our most reliable ally. But the new PM Kishida is not the hawk that the late PM Abe was.  And east of Japan is mainland Russia and immediately north of it is Russia’s Sakhalin and Kuril islands – and Russia if of course an ally of China.

In short, we do not have a good situation in East Asia for our proxy war in Taiwan.  The East Asians are not the patsies that the Europeans have turned out to be with the Ukraine proxy.

And a sober analysis would say that Speaker Pelosi’s visit did not help the situation.  We look like the trouble maker in East Asia.

Pelosi:  Who is this young woman?  She is speaking out of turn.  She should stick to her maps and keep quiet.

Biden: Absolutely. Who hired this woman?

Sullivan:  I cannot tell a lie.  Blinken did.

Blinken:  That is a big fat lie – Jake did.

Pelosi: Who cares?  This whole sorry episode was Joe’s idea and I am the one looking like the idiot.  I’ve been had.

(Storms out of the room.)

Biden: Jake and Tony, we cannot ignore this.  Take care of it.  Tell the press to stop mentioning the Pelosi visit.

Blinken:  I have taken care of it, boss.  The NYT was already on it even before I called. They know what is expected of them.

Biden: Good.  We don’t want this played up any more before November.

This meeting is over.

(He gets up, starts to leave, pauses, bends over to smell Tara’s hair.

She winces.  He exits and wanders off with a distorted smile on his face.)

John V. Walsh can be reached at