Why is Pelosi visiting Taiwan? The situation between China, America, and Taiwan is becoming increasingly volatile as some analysts believe that China is preparing to invade Taiwan. As these tensions grow, America has struggled to prove that it would defend Taiwan amidst Chinese aggression. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit would signal that it will. An American official of Pelosi’s rank hasn’t visited the independent island in over 25 years.
- Behind the scenes, the Senate is preparing the “Taiwan Policy Act of 2022,” which would fund Taiwan’s military financing, designate it as a significant ally, sanction Chinese officials, and consecrate America’s support. Pelosi’s trip will help fuel the legislation.
The diplomatic situation is so messy that Pelosi’s official tour of Asia doesn’t officially include Taiwan. Instead, she’ll be visiting the country without an official announcement. China suggests that Pelosi would use an excuse like an aircraft emergency as the rationale for the stop.
But President Joe Biden doesn’t think it’s a good idea as Chinese threats grow: China said that its military would “not sit idly by” if Pelosi continues with her visit to Taiwan and compared the situation to a powder keg. Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Biden, "those who play with fire will perish by it,” in reference to the recent plans to support Taiwan.
- A brief history between China and Taiwan: China was in a civil war during the 1940s. Soviet Union-aligned communists were on one side, and Western-aligned nationalists were on the other. The communists won, and the Nationalists fled to Taiwan, where they created a flourishing capitalist country without China’s recognition. China still views the territory as its own.
Big picture: With Pelosi’s visit and the Senate's incoming Taiwan legislation, it seems Congress is shaping U.S.-China policy, not President Biden.