Threats are issued during a two-hour phone call between Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping as Nancy Pelosi prepares to visit Taiwan
The Chinese Communist Party has long claimed Taiwan to be an illegitimate state and the rightful property of mainland China. Because of this, whenever the United States or another nation makes moves towards increasing ties with the island nation of approximately 23 million, The Chinese Communists get aggressive.
This is no exception, as Speaker Pelosi prepares for a potential trip to Taiwan to reaffirm American commitment to the independence of the island, something many on both sides of the aisle have advocated for in recent months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The situation between Taiwan and China is somewhat similar to that of Russia and Ukraine, where in each case, the larger nation feels entitled to possession of the smaller one, considers the government of the smaller nation illegitimate, and has in the past spewed hostility towards any bold enough to ally with them.
China has long stated that they intend to one day seize Taiwan, by military action if necessary.
With Pelosi’s possible visitation in the air, Xi Jinping and Joe Biden had a phone call–the fifth direct communication between the two of them since January, 2020–which lasted for two hours Thursday morning. During this phone call, Xi Jinping threatened Biden by saying that “those who play with fire will get burned,” implying that China is prepared to take military action if Pelosi goes through with visiting Taiwan.
In Taiwan, people are scared, but they are preparing. The Taiwanese military has launched the most military exercises and drills ever in recent weeks.
Currently, it is hard to say if China will actually follow through on military action, however, with much of the west still distracted with Ukraine, now may be an opportune time for them.
Ideological reasons aside, Taiwanese independence matters due to the nation’s mass production of important computer hardware, which is produced almost exclusively on the island and which all manner of technology, from consumer goods to military systems, rely on.
If China were to seize the island, production would be limited to only China and their allies–all of whom are enemies of the US.