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What’s China-Taiwan conflict all about? Why Pelosi’s visit matters?

New Delhi: The scheduled visit US house speaker Nancy Pelosi has sparked an outrage between Taiwan and China as the latter considers its own territory. This visit has furried China and the country has issued strong warning to US that “US will be responsible for everything”. As per the latest updates, her plan has entered into Taiwan airspace and people in large number waiting for her arrival outside the airport.

When the Biden Administration announced this controversial visit, China issued stern warning to the US saying “US is playing with the fire”.

Who is Nancy Pelosi?
Nancy Pelosi, who is a Democrat, is currently holding the position of speaker of the United States House of Representatives since 2019, and previously from 2007 to 2011. She has served as a U.S. representative from California since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, Pelosi is the only woman to have served as speaker of the U.S. House.
A member of the D’Alesandro political family, Pelosi’s father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., was a notable longtime politician. Before her election to Congress, she chaired the California Democratic Party from 1981 until 1983. Now in her 18th term, Pelosi was first elected to Congress in a 1987 special election. She is the dean of California’s congressional delegation. She represents California’s 12th congressional district, which comprises most of San Francisco. Initially, Pelosi represented the 5th district (1987–1993); after district boundaries were redrawn following the 1990 census, she represented the 8th district (1993–2013). Pelosi has led the House Democrats since 2003. She is the first woman to lead a party in Congress, and has served twice as House Minority Leader (2003–2007 and 2011–2019) and as House Speaker (2007–2011 and since 2019), respectively.

On January 3, 2021, Pelosi was reelected to a fourth term as speaker of the House. During her second speakership, she was instrumental in the passage of the Biden administration’s two major bills, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan Act. She announced in January 2022 that she would seek reelection as a US representative that year, though she had pledged in 2018 to not seek the speakership again.

What is the rift between China and Taiwan?
Recent years have seen an increase in tensions between China and Taiwan due to disagreements over the sovereignty of the island.
Beijing asserts control over the region and has promised to “unify” it with the mainland, if necessary by the use of force.
Given Washington’s unique links to Taipei, any military conflict over Taiwan may also involve the US.

Since 1949, when the Communists, led by Mao Zedong, triumphed in the Chinese civil war, China and Taiwan have been divided. The vanquished Nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-shek, Mao’s bitter enemy and the leader of the Kuomintang (KMT) party, fled to Taiwan.

Since then, Taiwan has operated freely and is now referred to as the Republic of China, as opposed to the People’s Republic of China on the mainland.
The Taiwan Strait divides the island from the mainland. There are about 23 million people living there, and the government is democratically chosen.

Beijing has maintained its stance that Taiwan is a rebellious province and has vowed to “unify” it with the Chinese mainland for more than 70 years.

According to Beijing, Taiwan is a component of the “one China” that exists.

China exerts diplomatic pressure on other nations to ally with Beijing and sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
Only 14 nations currently have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Taipei does not belong to any UN bodies, despite being a member of institutions like the World Trade Organization and the Asian Development Bank.

Companies all around the world are under pressure from China to identify Taiwan as a part of China.

The Chinese government may retaliate against governments and businesses that do not support Beijing’s position on the matter.

For instance, China suspended commerce with EU member Lithuania in 2021 after the latter’s capital welcomed a Taiwanese representative office.

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