When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi added to the itinerary of a valedictory trip through Asia the island of Taiwan, she could not have been oblivious to the reaction she would produce in a stunned Beijing.

Thus, when the Financial Times revealed that the speaker would be visiting Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province, an enraged Beijing took the Pelosi visit to be a deliberate U.S. provocation.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

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