Taiwan Strait

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Taiwan Strait
Taiwan Strait.png
A map showing the Taiwan Strait Area
Traditional Chinese 臺灣海峽 or 台灣海峽
Simplified Chinese 台湾海峡
Hokkien POJ Tâi-ôan Hái-kiap
Abbreviated as
Traditional Chinese 臺海 or 台海
Simplified Chinese 台海
Hokkien POJ Tâihái

The Taiwan Strait or Formosa Strait, formerly known as the Black Ditch,[1] is a 180 kilometres (110 mi) wide strait separating the island of Taiwan from the Asian mainland. The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to the East China Sea to the north.[2] The narrowest part is 130 km (81 mi) wide.[3]

Geography[edit]

The Taiwan Strait is located between Asia and the island of Taiwan.[2]

The geo-location of Taiwan Strait
from Asia to Pacific 
from Pacific to Asia 

Fujian Province in mainland China is to the west of the strait while the islands of Quemoy, Xiamen, Pingtan and Matsu lie just off the coast. To the east of the Strait are the west coasts of Taiwan and Penghu. The island fishermen use the strait as a fishing resource. The Min and Jiulong rivers empty into the strait.

History[edit]

The Strait has been the theatre for several military confrontations between Mainland China and Taiwan since the last days of the Chinese Civil War in 1949 when the Kuomintang (KMT) forces led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek retreated across the Strait and relocated their government to their final stronghold of Taiwan. A theoretical median maritime border known as the cross-strait median (海峽中線) also exists on the water to prevent certain transportation from passing.[4]

Proposed link[edit]

As part of the People's Republic of China's National Expressway Plan, a tunnel or possibly a bridge, was proposed in 2005 to link the city of Fuzhou with Taipei across the strait (Map[5]). If such an extreme construction would ever be built, it would by far exceed the length of any man-made tunnel in the world today. Engineers in Beijing state that a tunnel is technically feasible. However, the Republic of China government has refused to open direct links out of concern for Taiwan's security and in fear that by doing so it would have to recognize the People's Republic of China's one-China policy.[6][7]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Calligraphy in Taiwan". Government Information Office, Republic of China (Taiwan). Retrieved 4 March 2011. "Later on as mainland China suffered under a series of rebellions and invasions, thousands of farmers from the coastal provinces of Fujian and Guangdong risked their lives to cross the dangerous "Black Ditch" (today’s Taiwan Strait) and settled into agrarian lifestyles on Taiwan island." 
  2. ^ a b "Limits of Oceans and Seas" (3rd ed.). Monaco: International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. p. 33. Special Publication No. 23. Retrieved 7 February 2010.  The East China Sea is bounded on the south by "The Northern limit of the South China Sea [From Fuki Kaku the North point of Formosa to Kiushan Tao (Turnabout Island) on to the South point of Haitan Tao (25°25' N) and thence Westward on the parallel of 25°24' North to the coast of Fukien], thence from Santyo the Northeastern point of Formosa to the West point of Yonakuni Island and thence to Haderuma Sima (24°03′ N, 123°47′ E)."
  3. ^ "Geography". Government Information Office. Retrieved 23 January 2011. 
  4. ^ Chinareviewnews.com. "Chinareviewnews.com." 大公報文章:“海峽中線”應該廢除. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  5. ^ China, China (1 December 2008). "Medium to Long Term Rail Network Plan for PRC". China Rail Department (China). Retrieved 24 May 2010. 
  6. ^ Wu Zhong (14 January 2005). "Mainland to triple highway network". The Standard. Retrieved 13 December 2007. 
  7. ^ Gittings, John (8 April 2002). "Plans unveiled in China for Taiwan tunnel". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 24 May 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Bush, R. & O'Hanlon, M. (2007). A War Like No Other: The Truth About China's Challenge to America. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-98677-1
  • Bush, R. (2006). Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0-8157-1290-1
  • Carpenter, T. (2006). America's Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-6841-1
  • Cole, B. (2006). Taiwan's Security: History and Prospects. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-36581-3
  • Copper, J. (2006). Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China over Taiwan. Praeger Security International General Interest. ISBN 0-275-98888-0
  • Federation of American Scientists et al. (2006). Chinese Nuclear Forces and U.S. Nuclear War Planning
  • Gill, B. (2007). Rising Star: China's New Security Diplomacy. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0-8157-3146-9
  • Shirk, S. (2007). China: Fragile Superpower: How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-530609-0
  • Tsang, S. (2006). If China Attacks Taiwan: Military Strategy, Politics and Economics. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-40785-0
  • Tucker, N.B. (2005). Dangerous Strait: the U.S.-Taiwan-China Crisis. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-13564-5
  • Turin, D. (2010). The Taiwan Strait: From Civil War to Status Quo. Student Pulse. Vol 2., No. 6. The Taiwan Strait: From Civil War to Status Quo
  • Wallace Thies, and Patrick Bratton, “When Governments Collide in the Taiwan Strait,” Journal of Strategic Studies, 27, no. 4 (December 2004), 556–84.

Coordinates: 24°48′40″N 119°55′42″E / 24.81111°N 119.92833°E / 24.81111; 119.92833