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Taiwan: China taking no chances 

China has warned the United States against meddling in Taiwan following the announcement of a planned visit by U.S House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. China is now adding action to its verbal warning. 

What action? 

China announced on Saturday that it was conducting military exercises off its coast opposite Taiwan. The official Xinhua News Agency, in a broadcast, said the People’s Liberation Army (the military wing of China’s Communist Party) was conducting “live-fire exercises” near the Pingtan islands, off Fujian province from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. If she carries on with the visit, Pelosi would be the highest-ranking American elected official to visit Taiwan since 1997. 

What’s the purpose of the visit? 

She said, in a tweet, that her visit is to “reaffirm America’s unshakeable commitments to our allies and friends in the region”, but Beijing is having none of it and has made it clear it frowns on any romance between Taiwan and Washington. Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a phone call with U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday, warned against “external interference” in Beijing’s dealings with Taiwan. A spokesman of China’s Ministry of Defense said last week that the People’s Liberation Army would take unspecified “strong measures” to stop pro-independence activity in Taiwan. 

Pelosi’s office announced yesterday that she’s beginning a tour of the “Indo-Pacific region”- including visits to Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea, with no mention of Taiwan. After a civil war on the mainland that was won by the communists, Taiwan and China split in 1949. While claiming to be one nation, the two governments argue about who should hold the position of national leadership. And though they do not have any formal ties, trade and investment between them are worth billions of dollars. 

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