Tensions in the Taiwan Strait have risen considerably in recent months, as mainland China's military continues to move closer to the island of Taiwan and as Beijing has sought to diplomatically isolate Taipei.
Mainland China and Taiwan have long had fraught relations stemming from an agreement they should be one country, but a disagreement about which government should rule. Although there have been periods of tension and of reconciliation between the two, Beijing has recently been applying the pressure.
In recent months, Beijing has escalated its military presence in the Taiwan Strait by conducting live firing drills, as well as patrolling the airspace around the region with bombers, spy planes and new fighter jets. The Chinese military had also repeatedly sailed its sole operating aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait, as a direct threat to Taiwan according to a spokesman for Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has also moved to restrict Taiwan's international influence by diplomatically isolating the island. Since Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's election in 2016, China has moved to persuade diplomatic allies of the island to switch allegiances, and has so far succeeded on four accounts, including twice in recent months.