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  • DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS:Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan, invites angry response from China

Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan, invites angry response from China

Tags: International News

The United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan on 3 August 2022 on an Air Force plane. The Chinese government has angrily reacted to the visit and threatened action against Taiwan and the United States.

  • Nancy Pelosi who is second in line to the office of the President after the Vice –President of the United States is the highest ranking American government official in 25 years to visit Taiwan.  
  •  She along with 6 US lawmakers are on an Indo -Pacific tour. She has visited Singapore and Malaysia before coming to Taiwan. She will also visit South Korea and Japan. 
  • She met the Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and she said that “We want Taiwan to always have freedom with security, we are not backing away from that,” She also said that America is behind Taiwan. 
  • Although the US holds no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, Washington is Taiwan's most significant political and military backer. 

How has China responded 

  • China views Taiwan as its breakaway province which has to reunite with the mainland.
  •  It views any visit of a foreign government official to the country as recognition of the island’s sovereignty.
  • In protest of the visit, China announced drills in six locations surrounding Taiwan.
  • China's Eastern Theatre Command said a multi-force exercise involving the Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, Strategic Support Force and Joint Logistics Support Force, took place in the air and sea to the north, southwest and southeast of Taiwan.
  •  It announced punitive measures and banned imports of some Taiwanese food products and suspended the export of natural sand.

Background to the Dispute 

  • There was a long civil war in China between the Communist led by Mao Zedong and the Kuomintang party Chiang Kai-Shek. 
  •  The civil war ended in 1949 with the defeat of the Kuomintang party and Chiang Kai-Shek fled to Formosa (now Taiwan) and formed a government.
  • Since then Taiwan is officially known as the Republic of China while the mainland is ruled by the Communist party called the People's Republic of China.   
  • The island is separated from the mainland by the Taiwan Strait. It has a democratically elected government and is home to around 23 million people.   
  • For over seven decades, Beijing has continued to view Taiwan as a Chinese province and vows to "unify" it with the mainland. 

What is Taiwan's international status

  • Beijing's official policy is that there is only one China, that is mainland China and Taiwan is a part of mainland China. 
  • China pressures countries worldwide to switch their allegiance to Beijing and cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan.   
  • At present, only 14 countries maintain official diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
  • Taiwan is also not a member of agencies of the United Nations, although it holds membership of organizations like the Asian Development Bank and the World Trade Organization.    
  • China also puts pressure on companies worldwide to list Taiwan as a part of China.   
  • Governments and firms that do not toe Beijing's line on the issue risk backlash from the Chinese government.   

What's the US' relationship with Taiwan   

  • For almost three decades after the Communist government came to power in mainland China, the United States recognized Taiwan as the government of all China.  
  • But in 1979, Washington revoked its diplomatic ties and its mutual defense treaty with Taiwan and established formal diplomatic relations with mainland China.     
  • However, the United States of America has maintained close unofficial ties with Taiwan.   
  • It continues to sell military gear to Taiwan for self-defence, even though Beijing has repeatedly warned the US not to do so. US Navy warships also regularly sail through the Taiwan Strait to project American military power in the region.  
  • The US says its goal is to ensure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. To this end, it wants to maintain the status quo.  
  • President Joe Biden has said that the US would come to Taiwan’s defense if China attacked.

 Taiwan 

Capital: Taipei 

Currency: New Taiwan Dollar

President: Tsai Ing-wen

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