China's largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan have not only raised regional tensions — they have also provided analysts with potential insight into how Chinese forces might operate around the self-ruled island in case of a conflict.

At the same time, the multiday maneuvers, launched in retaliation for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei last week, have resulted in Sino-U.S. ties — widely seen as the defining bilateral relationship of the first half of the 21st century — dropping to a new low.

Here are some of the key political and military takeaways from Pelosi’s controversial trip and Beijing's ensuing military escalation, both of which have led to what some are referring to as the “Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis.”