Aerial view of Kaohsiung city, Taiwan (Picture: Tom Wang/Alamy Stock Photo).
Politics

Where is Taiwan and why does it matter?

America-China tensions have risen since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to the island.

Aerial view of Kaohsiung city, Taiwan (Picture: Tom Wang/Alamy Stock Photo).

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has criticised China's "inflammatory" response to a senior US politician's visit to Taiwan.

Tensions with China have been heightened by US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to the island.

Beijing responded by announcing multiple military exercises around the island, parts of which will enter Taiwanese waters.

Why is Taiwan politically significant?

Taiwan has been self-governing since nationalist forces fled there in 1949 after the communists took control of China.

It is considered to be a rebel province by China, which claims the island as its territory and opposes any engagement by Taiwanese officials with foreign governments.

China views Taiwan as a province it will win back, while the US sees it as independent.

The island of Taiwan, to the south east of China.

Beijing has been increasing both diplomatic and military pressure in recent years.

It cut off all contact with Taiwan's government in 2016 after President Tsai Ing-wen refused to endorse its claim that the island and mainland together make up a single Chinese nation, with Communist Beijing the sole legitimate government.

China sees official American contact with Taiwan as encouragement to make the island's decades-old de facto independence permanent, a step US leaders say they do not support.

President Joe Biden has said the US would intervene militarily if China was to invade Taiwan, saying the burden to protect Taiwan is "even stronger" after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Chinese leader President Xi warned Taiwan must reunify peacefully with his country, despite a ramping-up of threats to attack the island.