In news– Tensions escalated rapidly in the Taiwan Strait with China, the US and Taiwan increasing military deployment in the region ahead of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governed islan.
About Taiwan Strait-
- The Taiwan Strait is a 180-kilometer body of water separating the island of Taiwan and continental Asia in general and Fujian Province from Taiwan Island in particular.
- The island is located in the East China Sea, to the northeast of Hong Kong, north of the Philippines and south of South Korea, and southwest of Japan.
- It is part of the South China Sea and connects to the East China Sea to the north.
- International agreement does not define the Taiwan Strait but places its waters within the South China Sea.
- It extends from southwest to northeast between the South and East China seas.
- It reaches a depth of about 70 m and contains the Pescadores Islands (which are controlled by the government of Taiwan).
- Former names of the Taiwan Strait include the Formosa Strait(given by Portuguese navigators), the Strait of Fukien or Fujian, and the Black Ditch.
- Historically, the Strait mostly separated the Han culture of the Chinese mainland from Taiwan Island’s aborigines for millennia, although the Hakka and Hoklo traded and migrated across it.
- Tensions between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) in the 1950s resulted in armed conflict over strategic islands in the Taiwan Strait. On two separate occasions during the 1950s.
- Both thePRC and the ROC on Taiwan espoused a One-China Policy that considered the strait part of the exclusive economic zone of a single “China”.
- In practice, a maritime border of control exists along the median line down the strait as defined in 1955 by US Air Force General Benjamin O. Davis Jr. The median line is also known as the Davis line.
The People’s Republic of China is commonly known as China and the Republic of China is commonly known as Taiwan. These are separate states with a shared history; China claims sovereignty over Taiwan.
- Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a country in East Asia, at the junction of the East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the People’s Republic of China to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south.
- The main island of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two-thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanised population is concentrated.
- The capital, Taipei, forms along with New Taipei City and Keelung the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan.
- The island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, and ceded to the Empire of Japan in 1895.
- The Republic of China, which had overthrown the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan on behalf of the Allies of World War II following the surrender of Japan in 1945.
- The resumption of the Chinese Civil War resulted in the ROC’s loss of mainland China to forces of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and consequent retreat to Taiwan in 1949.
- Its effective jurisdiction has since been limited to Taiwan and smaller islands.
- In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialisation called the “Taiwan Miracle”.
- In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the ROC transitioned from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system. Today, Taiwan is a country with democracy.