THEO VAN GOGH Top of the Agenda : China Begins Military Drills Around Taiwan as Pelosi Visits South Korea – RELEVANT SOURCES !

China launched eleven ballistic issiles (SCMP) into waters off of Taiwan following U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial visit to the island, Taiwan’s defense ministry said. The launches were part of China’s largest ever military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, which also include air and naval drills that have encircled Taiwan. Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the United States tweeted (The Guardian) that China had “jeopardized regional peace.”

Meanwhile, Pelosi arrived in South Korea yesterday and met with National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo and other lawmakers to discuss (AFP) regional security, economic cooperation, and climate change. Pelosi later spoke by phone with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. She is set to visit the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, a South Korean official said, before traveling to Japan.

“If [China] does significant missile tests, for instance, in the Taiwan Strait, it essentially closes down the Taiwan Strait to international shipping because of military exercises, then, of course, that will ripple through global supply chains, given how reliant companies around the world are for Taiwanese inputs, above all semiconductors,” CFR’s David Sacks tells Yahoo Finance Live.

“Beijing is calculating what military manoeuvres they can do to express their maximum displeasure and at the same time maintain China’s ability to control the escalation dynamic,” the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Meia Nouwens tells the Financial Times. “I don’t see the connection to an invasion scenario—I think Beijing is still trying to avoid open conflict.”


This Backgrounder explains why China-Taiwan relations are so tense.