Tensions between China and Taiwan explained

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US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan amid rising tensions between the nation and neighboring China

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan amid rising tensions between the country and China.

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The US politician had been warned by China not to visit Taiwan as the two countries face escalating tensions.

It comes after US President Joe Biden earlier this year gave security guarantees to Taiwan should China invade the country.

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During a news conference alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Mr Biden said the US would intervene militarily if China moved troops to Taiwan.

His comments drew a mixed reaction, with the White House itself backtracking on those comments.

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But what is the situation between Taiwan and China, where is the island and what was the reaction to Ms. Pelosis’ visit?

Here’s everything you need to know about the situation.

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US Air Force One carrying Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwan. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Why did Nancy Pelosi visit Taiwan?

Ms. Pelosis’ visit to Taiwan has made her the highest-ranking American politician to visit the island in the past 25 years.

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The US spokesman’s visit was planned, with the Biden administration insisting to Beijing that it is not signaling a change in policy towards Taiwan.

Ms. Pelosi left for Taiwan after visiting Malaysia to meet with political leaders.

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The visit to Taiwan was met with strong warnings from China.

What has China said about Nancy Pelosis visit to Taiwan?

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A cyberattack was launched on the Presidential Office and the State Department ahead of Ms. Pelosis’ arrival in Taiwan.

It comes as China said the country’s military would “never stand by” if Ms Pelosi continued the visit.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing, “The US and Taiwan worked together to carry out provocations first, and China was only forced to act in self-defense.”

Ms Hua added that China is in constant communication with the US and has warned that any countermeasures taken by China are “justified and necessary”.

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Chinese warplanes had flown near Taiwan as Ms Pelosi prepared to land on the island.

Where is Taiwan?

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Taiwan is a country in East Asia, located about 100 miles off the southeast coast of the People’s Republic of China.

Taiwan is officially known as the Republic of China.

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More than 23 million people live in the country, with 2.5 million people living in Taipei, the capital.

What is the history between Taiwan and China?

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Tensions between Taiwan and China began during World War II while fighting continued on the mainland.

After the communists won the battle in 1949 and Mao Zedong took control, the defeated Nationalist Party fled to Taiwan.

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Since then, there has been a dispute between the two territories over whether Taiwan is a sovereign state.

Which countries recognize Taiwan as a sovereign state?

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China has made it clear to countries that they will not be able to have diplomatic ties with both China and Taiwan and that they can only have ties with one.

Therefore, out of 193 UN member states, only 12 have recognized Taiwan’s sovereign state.

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  • Belize
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Palau
  • Paraguay
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Tuvalu

The Vatican City also recognizes Taiwan as an independent state.

The United States recognized Taiwan as a sovereign state for 30 years after the Chinese Civil War, which ended in 1979.

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Although the US no longer recognizes its sovereignty, it maintains friendly relations with Taiwan.

Will China Invade Taiwan?

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Since the civil war in the 1940s, Beijing has insisted that Taiwan be reunited with China because it is a rebel region.

China has said any Taiwanese attempt to establish the country as an independent state will be met with methods such as invasion.

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Taiwan’s defense minister reportedly said relations between the two territories are at a 40-year low.

Some experts believe the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine may embolden China, a notable Russian ally, to take similar action.

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