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China and the U.S.: War Games in a Tense World

On Tuesday, August 1, Nancy Pelosi — the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives — landed in Taiwan. This island territory is claimed by the People’s Republic of China as its own, which is why Pelosi’s visit was considered an act of aggression.

As soon as it became known that she might make a stopover in Taiwan’s capital of Taipei as part of her tour of Asian countries, Chinese representatives began warning of the harsh consequences that such a visit could have. Two days after the visit, China began extensive military exercises in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese navy blocked almost all maritime traffic, and at least nine missiles were launched over Taiwan, several of them landing in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, according to Japanese authorities.

The visit escalated tensions not seen for decades at a particularly fraught moment in interstate relations, one that is dominated by the war in Ukraine with Russia,…

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