Taiwan Strait

CrisisWatch Taiwan Strait

Unchanged Situation

Military activities around island continued as China maintained frequent aerial and maritime incursions, while U.S. and Chinese presidents discussed Taiwan in first face-to-face meeting.

China continued military presence around island as U.S vessel transited strait. As of Nov 20, Taiwan detected 436 Chinese aircraft entering its Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), of which estimated 170 either crossed unofficial demarcation “median line” or entered south-western ADIZ; Chinese naval vessels in surrounding waters were sighted 98 times. U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold 5 Nov sailed through Taiwan Strait; Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet 20 Nov said that U.S. has been sending warships through strait approximately every month. Meanwhile, Taiwan 7 Nov began its annual “Sky Dragon” military drills involving aerial combat exercises and ground-based support operations over six days, while Taiwan’s army 19 Nov conducted live-fire drill on outlying Penghu Islands; routine drills are expected to be held monthly in response to growing intimidations from China.

U.S. and China leaders held first face-to-face meeting, agreeing to manage Taiwan differences. In bilateral meeting at G20 summit, U.S. President Biden and China’s President Xi Jinping 14 Nov agreed to manage their differences and competition, including on question of Taiwan; Xi said that Taiwan is “at the very core of China’s core interests, the bedrock of the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and the first red line that must not be crossed in China-U.S. relations”, while Biden reportedly expressed objections to Beijing’s coercive and increasingly aggressive actions toward Taiwan. Taiwan same day thanked Biden for reiterating U.S. support. Taiwan and U.S. 16 Nov reportedly signed deal to maintain long-range early-warning radar systems. U.S. and China defence chiefs 22 Nov met and agreed to improve communication channels and crisis management mechanism, suspended since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in August.

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In The News

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
4 Aug 2022
China's announced military exercises represent a clear escalation from the existing baseline of Chinese military activities around Taiwan [...]. Beijing is signalling tha... AFP

Amanda Hsiao

Senior Analyst, China

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