Mood shifts in Taiwan as Nancy Pelosi visit raises fears of war

Stoic, often fatalistic population paid little attention to talk of House speaker’s visit – until it was confirmed

At a central Taipei branch of a popular bank on Tuesday, a few clients came to Joseph Chiu, a teller, with an odd request: to withdraw millions of kuai from their accounts. “They worry the bank will close its doors tomorrow,” he said during an afternoon streetside smoke break.

Chiu said he wasn’t worried about such an event, and there is no indication that it is even a possibility, but it was a small sign that among Taiwan’s stoic, often fatalistic population, something had shifted this week.

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