Two U.S. Navy warships sailed through international waters in the Taiwan Strait, the first such operation since a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi enraged China which regards the island as its territory. The U.S. Navy, said cruisers Chancellorsville and Antietam were carrying out the ongoing operation. Such operations usually take eight to 12 hours to complete and are closely monitored by China’s military.
The Long-drawn Line:
For nearly 70 years an imagined line running down the Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and China has helped keep the peace but the so-called median line is looking increasingly meaningless as China’s modernised navy asserts its strength. China has never officially recognised the line that a U.S. general devised in 1954 at the height of Cold War hostility between Communist China and U.S.-backed Taiwan although the People’s Liberation Army largely respected it. Now Taiwan is bracing for warships from China’s much larger navy routinely pushing over the line as part of the steps an angry Beijing has taken to protest against a visit to Taipei three weeks ago by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Projection Of Power:
About Taiwan Strait:
U.S-China Political Artefact:
The Taiwan-China Development:
- Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), is an island separated from China by the Taiwan Strait. It has been governed independently of mainland China, officially the People’s Republic of China (PRC), since 1949. The PRC views the island as a renegade province and vows to eventually “unify” Taiwan with the mainland. In Taiwan, which has its own democratically elected government and is home to twenty-three million people, political leaders have differing views on the island’s status and relations with the mainland. Cross-strait tensions have escalated since the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016. Tsai has refused to accept a formula that her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, endorsed to allow for increased cross-strait ties.
- Meanwhile, Beijing has taken increasingly aggressive actions, including by flying fighter jets near the island. Some analysts fear a Chinese attack on Taiwan has the potential to draw the United States into a war with China. In a 2019 speech, Xi reiterated China’s long-standing proposal for Taiwan: that it be incorporated into the mainland under the formula of “one country, two systems.” This is the same formula used for Hong Kong, which was guaranteed the ability to preserve its political and economic systems and granted a “high degree of autonomy.” Such a framework is deeply unpopular among the Taiwanese public. Pointing to Beijing’s recent crackdown on Hong Kong’s freedoms, Tsai and even the KMT have rejected the “one country, two systems” framework.
The Recent U.S Approach:
Under President Donald Trump, the United States deepened ties with Taiwan over Chinese objections, including by selling more than $18 billion worth of arms to the military and unveiling a $250 million complex for its de facto embassy in Taipei. Trump spoke with Tsai by telephone ahead of his inauguration, the highest level of contact between the two sides since 1979. The Biden administration has taken a similar approach, continuing arms sales and affirming the Trump administration’s decision to allow U.S. officials to meet more freely with Taiwanese officials. Biden was the first U.S. president to invite Taiwanese representatives to attend the presidential inauguration. The United States participates in military training and dialogues with Taiwan, regularly sails ships through the Taiwan Strait to demonstrate its military presence in the region, and has encouraged Taiwan to increase its defense spending.