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Taiwan crisis explained: What is the history with China, and how did things get here?

China has declared a massive set of war games surrounding Taiwan as Beijing reacts with fury to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island.

The military drills, which began August 2 and will last until August 8, will blockade the island from the outside world and intrude into its territorial waters.

They will involve ground, air and sea forces carrying out live fire exercises in the largest threat to the territory’s independence in decades.

Beijing appears to be rehearsing for an attack on the island, which President Xi Jinping has vowed to ‘reunify’ with the mainland – by force if necessary.

Should China invade, the war will likely draw in the US – a close ally of Taiwan – teeing up a direct conflict between the two global superpowers. 

But how did things get here? Why are…

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