Taiwan Strait

CrisisWatch Taiwan Strait

Unchanged Situation

China maintained military activities around Taiwan amid near-collision incident with U.S. and Canadian ships, while U.S. ruled out Taiwan independence during high-level talks in Beijing.

China continued aerial and maritime activities. As of 27 June, Taiwan had spotted 298 Chinese military aircraft entering its air defence identification zone (ADIZ), of which at least 84 either crossed unofficial “median line” or were detected in south-western ADIZ; notably, Taiwan 8 June detected 37 Chinese planes in its ADIZ, one day after China conducted joint air patrols with Russia in Sea of Japan and East China Sea (see China/Japan); 11 Chinese aircraft 30 June crossed median line as U.S. congressional delegation visited capital Taipei. Taiwan sighted 138 Chinese naval vessels in surrounding waters; Chinese aircraft carrier group led by Shandong 21 June transited strait. In worrying incident, as Canadian HCMS Montreal and USS Chung-Hoon 3 June conducted joint “freedom of navigation” transit through Taiwan Strait, Chinese warship made course to cut across bow of USS Chung-Hoon, risking collision; Montreal’s commander called move unprofessional, while Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu said move aimed to prevent operations being used “to exercise hegemony of navigation”.

U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken visited China and discussed Taiwan. In first visit by U.S. sec of state to China in five years and becoming highest-ranking Biden administration official to visit, Blinken 18-19 June met with China’s FM Qin Gang, State Councillor Wang Yi and President Xi Jinping; U.S. called talks “candid, substantive and constructive” as Blinken assured his Chinese counterpart that U.S. does not support Taiwan’s independence, while China urged U.S. to fulfil its promise. Taiwan and U.S. 1 June signed initial agreement under U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. U.S. House Armed Services Committee 14 June said it is exploring possibility of joint weapons production with Taiwan.

China hosted annual non-political conference. Beijing 16 June held 15th Straits Forum in Fujian province, which saw participation of 5,000 people from various backgrounds, including Andrew Hsia, vice chairman of Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang party; in letter to forum, President Xi urged people from both sides of Taiwan Strait to work together to “safeguard the overall interests of the Chinese nation”.

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In The News

7 Mar 2023
Beijing will have to publicly condemn [Taiwan President] Tsai’s visit to the US, their ultimate response will depend on what Tsai says and who she meets with on her trip. The Guardian

Amanda Hsiao

Senior Analyst, China
19 Dec 2022
At the moment, we think that China has not fully developed the capability to guarantee a sure victory if it chooses to launch a military option on Taiwan. CNA

Ivy Kwek

Giustra Fellow, China
27 Aug 2022
[Western politicians] increasingly view a visit to Taiwan as an opportunity to signal their anti-China bona fides for domestic political reasons. The Guardian

Amanda Hsiao

Senior Analyst, China

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