For several months, we have been witnessing the rise of tensions between Beijing and Washington over Taiwan. Until now, it was mostly provocations and retorts, with a good dose of postures more than military actions. But the visit of the US Under Secretary of State, Keith Krach, to Taipei this Friday, seems to have triggered an entirely different response from China. In addition to the organization of multiple exercises including live fire all around the independent island by the naval and air forces of the People's Liberation Army, Beijing now threatens directly toa military intervention against the island if Washington were to go back on the one-China policy, inherited from the rapprochement between Washington and Beijing initiated under the Nixon presidency, and which led the United States to sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 under President J. Carter, in 1979.
It must be said that the visit of the American Under-Secretary of State to the independent island is an important event, no American official of this level having set foot on Taiwanese soil since the end of the 60s, while diplomacy American had bet on Communist China to weaken the Soviet bloc. In addition, Keith Krach will participate during this visit in a ceremony in honor of Lee Teng-hui, who was president of the country from 1988 to 2000, and who remains a symbol of resistance against Beijing. But this visit comes, moreover, in a context of heightened tension when, this week, the Republican representative of the 7th District of Wisconsin Tom Tiffany presented, the day before Keith Krach's visit, a bill to end the one-China policy, at the heart of Sino-American relations since the early 70s.
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