US, China in eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation over Pelosi visit to East Asia. Has Washington blinked?

WASHINGTON: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, second in line for the oval office after the vice president, flew to East Asia on Sunday with the eyes of the diplomatic world fixed on her plane to see if it would defy China’s warning and land her in Taiwan.
Air traffic monitors appeared to show the plane carrying Pelosi landed at the naval base in Guam in the Pacific on its way to East Asia, amid tantalizing speculation it would then proceed to Taiwan. China has warned that the US will “play with fire” and be “burnt” if Pelosi lands in Taiwan, and the coming hours will show which side it blinked.
While Pelosi’s itinerary appeared to show she’d dropped Taiwan from travel plans, speculation raged about whether she’d make a surreptitious, unpublished visit — perhaps on her way back.
In a few tweets before she flew away, Pelosi made no mention of Taiwan as she outlined visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. She also revealed that after a fuel stop in Hawaii, she and her delegation were “honored to receive a briefing from” USINDOPACOM leadership, as well as a visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial and the USS Arizona.”
USINDOPACOM, short for United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM), is a unified combatant command responsible for the Indo-Pacific region. It was established in 2018 in recognition of the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, formalizing Washington‘s muscular commitment to the Indo-Pacific region in light of Beijing’s growing assertiveness.
“I am leading a congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific to reaffirm America’s unwavering commitment to our allies and friends in the region. In Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan, we will hold high-level meetings to discuss how promote our shared interests and values,” Pelosi said in her introductory tweet.
“Under the strong leadership of President Biden, America is firmly committed to smart, strategic engagement in the region, recognizing that a free and thriving Indo-Pacific is critical to prosperity in our country and around the world,” she wrote.

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