c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Why Pelosi's visit to Taiwan bothers China?
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Why Pelosi's visit to Taiwan bothers China?


Why Pelosi's visit to Taiwan bothers China?

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the highest-ranking US official to visit the island since the late 1990s. This is the context to understand what it implies.

Taiwan, an island of 23 million people 80 miles off the Chinese coast, has been a historic point of tension between Washington and Beijing. Now, with the visit of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, those tensions are at a new peak.

Pelosi is the highest-ranking US official to visit the island since 1997, when Newt Gingrich was there. Beijing has protested vigorously since the possibility of the trip arose.

China claims that Taiwan, an autonomous island democracy, is part of its territory and has made it its mission to take it back, by force if necessary. In his call with President Biden on Thursday, China's leader Xi Jinping issued a stern warning against the United States intervening in the dispute. 

These are the things to know about Taiwan.

China's leader has intentions in Taiwan Xi has made it clear, more than his predecessors, that the unification of Taiwan with China is one of the basic goals of his mandate. Xi's unprecedented third term as leader is expected to be confirmed at the Communist Party Congress this fall. Prior to such an important political convention, Xi will be very diligent in projecting an image of strength inside and outside the country, especially on the Taiwan issue.

Taiwan is the flashpoint in US-China relations Chinese incursions into air and sea space near Taiwan have become more aggressive in recent years, raising the risk of conflict.

In June, Beijing upped the ante when the Foreign Ministry declared that China had jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait and that it could not be considered an international waterway. And in the past year, Chinese military aircraft have increasingly probed the airspace near Taiwan, prompting Taiwanese fighter jets to enlist.

Taiwan is a political minefield for Washington Pelosi's visit has put President Biden in an awkward position. She and her staff insist that she, as head of a separate but equally important branch of the US government, has the right to go where she wants. For his part, Biden does not want to be seen as someone who determines where the speaker of the House of Representatives can travel. He has hinted that he doubts the wisdom of this trip.

Pelosi has a history of irritating China

The Speaker of the House of Representatives has been critical of China.

Pelosi, a two-time congresswoman from California, visited Beijing in 1991, two years after Chinese troops opened fire on student protesters in Tiananmen Square, killing hundreds if not thousands. Accompanied by several congressional colleagues in the plaza, and a small group of journalists, Pelosi unveiled a banner commemorating the deceased students.

Pelosi is a strong supporter of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan rights. In 2015, with permission from the Chinese government, Pelosi visited the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, on a highly restricted trip that is often off limits to foreign officials and journalists.

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