China considers Taiwan, with a population of about 23 million, as one of its provinces, which has not yet been successfully annexed to the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War (1949). Beijing opposes any attempt to grant international recognition to Taiwanese officials and opposes any official ties between Taiwan and other countries.
US officials and members of parliament regularly visit the island. But China sees the visit by Ms Pelosi, one of the most senior figures in the US government, as a major provocation. Last week, during a phone interview with US President Joe Biden, Chinese President Xi Jinping had already called on Americans not to “play with fire”.
Since 1979, Washington has recognized only one Chinese government, that of Beijing.
According to Taiwanese newspaper Liberty Times, citing anonymous sources, the US president will meet on Wednesday with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, a pet of Beijing because she comes from an independence party.
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