The visit to Taiwan by the U.S. House Speaker and veteran Democrat politician, Nancy Pelosi, has risked triggering a fourth Taiwan Strait crisis and a dangerous escalation amid already worsening relations between the world’s two biggest powers.
Why does it matter so much?
Ms. Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 25 years — the first by a House Speaker since Newt Gingrich’s trip in 1997. That visit took place in the aftermath of the third Taiwan Strait crisis, when China conducted missile tests in response to then Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui visiting the U.S.
How the crisis has brimmed now?
Why is it bad?
What did the U.S. say?
White House officials have made the point that Ms. Pelosi represents a different branch of government and members of Congress have travelled previously to Taiwan. That the visit appears to have been driven largely by Ms. Pelosi, who has been sharply critical of China’s policies in Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, rather than by the Biden administration, has not appeared to have assuaged Beijing.
Why did China respond aggressively?
A sharp response, in Beijing’s view, would dissuade other countries from engaging with Taiwan at higher political levels. It may also burnish Mr. Xi’s status at home.
The fact that neither side wants, nor can afford, a military confrontation may yet see the current tensions defused with each side walking away and claiming a show of strength for their domestic audiences. The latest crisis has, however, made clear the perilous state of relations between the world’s two biggest powers. It is unlikely to be the last.
Source – The Hindu
QUESTION – The recent escalation of tensions between the U.S. and China over Taiwan issue marks the level of seriousness not seen since the third Taiwan crisis. Comment.