Geopolitical waves smashed into the Santa Monica headquarters of the World Surf League, last night, as Democrat Nancy Pelosi touched down in Taiwan for what was billed as a “visit.” As you might know, the island nation, officially called the Republic of China, is very much claimed by the other China across the straight, officially called the People’s Republic of China.
A little history lesson for those of you, here, whose parents pulled them out of school in order to follow a competitive professional surfing dream.
Taiwan and China were both part of the same Qing empire until Taiwan was absorbed by the Empire of Japan after defeating the dynasty in 1895’s First Sino-Japanese War. Following Japan’s own defeat in World War II, Taiwan was returned to China which, at that point, was called the Republic of China. Except, civil war raged in that land, the Chinese Communist Party bashing up against Chiang Kai-shek and his nationalists. The CCP, fronted by Chairman Mao Zedong, was beating the the nationalists good and so Kai-shek up and fled to Taiwan in 1949 with much gold and many people and the two have been angry with each other since. The People’s Republic of China claiming Taiwan as its territory, theoretically. The Republic of China (i.e. Taiwan) claiming it is independent and chill.
Pelosi’s visit, in any case, inflamed tensions with China, People’s Republic not Republic of, which began conducting military exercises close to the island. According to Bloomberg, “The exercises threaten to disrupt shipping and airline routes in Taiwan, one of the world’s most-crucial suppliers of computer chips. Several airlines are planning adjustments to their flights, while pilots of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. were advised to carry 30 minutes worth of extra fuel for possible rerouting in Taiwan.”
What’s worse, they may disrupt the Taiwan Open of Surfing set to get underway this November 13 and carrying with it 3000 points. The World Surf League has already lost the Quiksilver French Open, this year, due a lack of “financial support” and the loss of this second, important event would be devastating.
It must be assumed that CEO Erik Logan and Senior Vice President of Tours, Head of Competition Jessi Miley-Dyer are burning the midnight oil and working the phones, using their clout to preserve the fragile peace.