Pelosi arrives in Taiwan + Navy maneuver + Taiwan citizens remain calm
The third-highest ranking politician of the USA has landed in Taiwan. As expected, in response to Nancy Pelosi's arrival, China dispatched its military forces: Aircraft of the Chinese Air Force scratched the center line of the strait between the island and the mainland. In addition, naval exercises with live ammunition will begin on Thursday in the waters around Taiwan. For an assessment of the Chinese response, check our analysis by Christiane Kuehl. Pelosi's gamble seems to have paid off in the short term because an escalation has failed to materialize. Nonetheless, the United States will have a harder time dealing with China from now on.
China's overly vocal propagandists now have to row back. But China still holds the stronger cards and will now "play them one by one," wrote Hu Xijin, the ever vociferous former editor-in-chief of the Global Times, on Twitter. So instead of the "great war in the Taiwan Strait" he announced on Monday, the situation has turned into a card game. (Be sure to check our Dessert section, where Hu Xijin can be seen unusually close with Pelosi).
However, relations between the United States and China will now become even more complicated. Xi Jinping cannot simply overlook the historic visit. Moreover, the risk of a misunderstanding and an unintended escalation have not been averted, especially since both sides are massing warships in the same sea area. Taiwan remains one of the most critical hot spots, alongside the ongoing war in Ukraine, North Korea and Iran.