Washington (AP)- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taiwan despite warnings from the U.S. and threats of “serious consequences” from China. The controversy stems from the One China policy, which governed relations between the U.S and Taiwan for the past 40+ years.
The One China Policy is the diplomatic stance under which the U.S recognizes Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of China. However, Taiwan residents consider their island self-ruled and an independent nation. Despite recognizing the One China policy, the U.S has publicly pledged to back Taiwan militarily and supply the nation with defense weapons.
A high-profile visit such as Pelosi’s supports the island at a time when several are questioning the international community’s commitment to protecting small countries from powerful neighbors. Pelosi is the highest-ranking American official to visit Taiwan in 25 years. Beijing views contact between the U.S and Taiwan as recognition of the nation’s sovereignty.
After Pelosi’s arrival, China announced new military operations off Taiwan, including live-fire drills. As a result, the visit could potentially hurt relations between the U.S. and China. The Biden administration did not explicitly urge Pelosi to cancel the trip. However, they seek to assure Beijing does not enact changes in U.S. policy on Taiwan.