Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan amid US-China tensions

The Chinese Communist Party founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949 – the beginning of years of military conflict in the Taiwan Strait in the 1950s, with Beijing shelling several outlying islands controlled by Taipei on two separate occasions.

The last major crisis occurred in 1995-1996, after the then President of Taiwan, Lee Teng-hui, visited the United States.

Lee, who had a PhD from Cornell University in New York State, returned to his alma mater in 1995 to deliver a speech at a reunion event, which the university says will be held across Asia and around the world. was broadcast.

Cornell University President Frank Rhodes and Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui pose with their wives, Lee Wen-hui and Rosa Rhodes prior to a private dinner at the president's home on June 10, 1995 in Ithaca, New York.
Cornell University President Frank Rhodes and Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui pose with their wives, Lee Wen-hui and Rosa Rhodes prior to a private dinner at the president’s home on June 10, 1995 in Ithaca, New York. (Bill Mueller/AP)

Infuriated by the visit, and against the US for granting a visa to Lee, China fired missiles into the waters around Taiwan. The crisis ended only after the US sent two battlegroups of aircraft carriers to the area to provide strong support to Taipei.

Experts say Lee was the first Taiwanese leader to put forward the idea that the island would be a separate, separate entity from the Communist-ruled mainland — making him a particularly sensitive figure to Beijing even decades later.

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