China warned Thursday, April 7 that it would take “strong measuresas the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, went to Taiwanthe media has hinted at the possibility of such a visit.
†The United States must adhere to the one-China principle (…) and immediately cancel Nancy Pelosi’s planned visit to TaiwanForeign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters.China will take strong measures to defend its national security and integrityadded Zhao Lijian. Japanese and Taiwanese media reported Thursday that Nancy Pelosi will travel to Taiwan next week after leading a delegation to Japan this weekend.
Neither Taiwan nor Nancy Pelosi’s office has confirmed the reports, but Beijing – which opposes countries associated with Taipei – has spoken out against the possible visit. A visit from Nancy Pelosi would be of diplomatic importance to Taipei, but not unprecedented. Newt Gingrich visited Taiwan in 1997 when he was Speaker of the House of Representatives.
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Separate governments since 1949
The island’s relations with Beijing have been frosty since President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, viewing the island as a sovereign nation and not part of China. Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since the Communists seized power in Beijing in 1949 and the Nationalist government fled to Taiwan. The Chinese communist regime considers the island one of its provinces destined to return to its flock, by force if necessary.
Like most countries, the United States diplomatically recognizes Beijing under international law, but also maintains de facto diplomatic ties with Taipei and is bound by a congressional decision to ensure that Taiwan can defend itself. Both arms sales in the US and diplomatic visits to Taiwan have increased under former President Donald Trump and his successor Joe Biden.
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