PELOSI’S TRIP TO TAIWAN Raising US-China Tensions, impacting the Indo-Pacific region

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Nancy Pelosi
Pelosi and her delegation disembarked from a U.S. Air Force transport plane at Songshan Airport Taipei. They were greated by Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu, and Sandra Oudkirk, the U.S. representative in Taiwan. (Source: @SPEAKERPELOSI)

Jakarta, IO – On August 2, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a delegation of five Democratic Party House members landed in a U.S. Air Force transport plane at Songshan Airport in downtown Taipei. Despite China’s strong objections, Pelosi boldly visited Taiwan, prompting the Chinese government to register serious representations and strong protests to the US. 

As a consequence, the US has received a lot of criticism and responses from the international community regarding Pelosi’s arrival in the country that’s becoming an important concern for China’s sovereignty. They highly regret Pelosi’s provocative attitude, at which will only pose a threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Straight, affecting the regional tensions to increase further. To understand this issue, we can see it by the domestic and external factors influencing it. 

Understanding China-Taiwan sovereignty backgrounds 

The one-China principle states that Taiwan is a part of China and that only the Chinese government has the authority to speak for all of China, including Taiwan. The two major political forces in Mainland China at the time, the CCP and the Kuomintang, had an impact on bilateral relations. 

According to historical records, the island initially came under complete Chinese rule in the 17th century, when the Qing dynasty took over administration. After losing the first Sino-Japanese war in 1895, they handed over the island to Japan. 

After Japan lost World War II, China reclaimed the island in 1945. In mainland China, however, a civil war broke out between nationalist government forces commanded by Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong’s Communist Party. In 1949, the communists prevailed and assumed control of Beijing. 

Chiang Kai-shek and the remnants of the nationalist Kuomintang fled to Taiwan, where they ruled for the next several decades. Since then, the Kuomintang has been one of Taiwan’s most famous political parties, controlling the island for much of its history. China uses this history to claim that Taiwan was once a Chinese territory. However, the Taiwanese use the same history to claim that they were never a part of the modern Chinese state that emerged after the 1911 revolution, or the People’s Republic of China that was created under Mao in 1949. 

Chiang consistently claimed to represent all of China in his political efforts at court. He also represented China in the United Nations and is acknowledged as China’s sole government by the West. However, many nations concluded in the 1970s that the Taipei administration could no longer be regarded a representation of China. The United Nations then ejected China and shifted China’s political authority to Beijing rather than Taiwan in 1971. Since then, the number of nations that have diplomatically recognized Taiwan (RoC) has shrunk dramatically to only 15 countries.