Why is Taiwan at the center of US-China tensions? - explainer


Staff member
Why is Taiwan at the center of US-China tensions? - explainer
Nancy Pelosi's planned visit to Taiwan has drawn the ire of China, which warns the consequences of her visit will be harsh. But why is Taiwan seen as such a sensitive topic?
Published: AUGUST 2, 2022

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that her trip to Asia will indeed include a stop in Taiwan, drawing the ire of Chinese officials. Her visit to Taiwan will make her the highest-ranking US official to visit the country since then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich went in 1997.

Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly warned US President Joe Biden that "Those who play with fire will perish by it" in regards to Pelosi’s visit. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday that it would be "a gross interference in China's internal affairs" if Pelosi visits Taiwan, and warned that it would lead to "very serious developments and consequences."

US officials maintain that there is nothing fundamentally wrong or out of the ordinary with an unofficial visit by a US government official, with Secretary of State Blinken saying “the decision is entirely the Speaker's" and adding that “Congress is an independent, coequal branch of government."

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