Taiwan Strait

Taiwan Strait
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

The Taiwan Strait or Formosa Strait, formerly known as the Black Ditch,[1] is a 180-km-wide (111.85-mile-wide) strait separating Mainland China and Taiwan. The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to East China Sea to the northeast. The narrowest part is 130 km (81 mi) wide.[2]



Fujian province in mainland China is to the west of the strait, while important islands like Kinmen, Xiamen Island, Pingtan Island, and the Matsu Islands lie just off the coast. To the east are the west coasts of Taiwan and Penghu. The island fishermen[specify] use the strait as a fishing resource. The Min and Jiulong Rivers empty into the strait.

There have been discussions about the strategic importance of the Taiwan Strait. Some Japanese politicians claimed that the Taiwan Strait is an essential sea route for oil shipment from the Middle East via the Malacca Strait to Japan.[3] However, some have argued that this is merely an excuse for intervention since the sea lane east of Taiwan is even shorter [4]


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 its government on its final stronghold of Taiwan. A theoretical median maritime border known as the cross-strait median (海峽中線) also exist on the water to prevent certain transportation from passing.[5]

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 cities of Fuzhou, Fujian, China with Taipei, Taiwan across the strait (Map[6]). 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 had refused to open direct links out of concern for the island's security and in fear that by doing so it would have to recognize the People's Republic of China's one-China policy.[7][8]

See also


  1. ^ "Calligraphy in Taiwan". Government Information Office, Republic of China (Taiwan). http://www.gio.gov.tw/taiwan-website/5-gp/culture/calligraphy/index.html. Retrieved 2011-03-04. "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. ^ "Geography". Government Information Office. http://www.gio.gov.tw/taiwan-website/5-gp/yearbook/2001/chpt01-1.htm. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  3. ^ http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/japan-dips-its-toe-taiwan-strait
  4. ^ http://sun-bin.blogspot.com/2005/10/myth-of-strategic-location-of-taiwan.html
  5. ^ Chinareviewnews.com. "Chinareviewnews.com." 大公報文章:“海峽中線”應該廢除. Retrieved on 15 July 2009.
  6. ^ China, China (2008-12-01). "Medium to Long Term Rail Network Plan for PRC". China Rail Department (China). http://www.czstation.net/upimg/allimg/081208/1304390.jpg. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  7. ^ Wu Zhong (January 14, 2005). "Mainland to triple highway network". The Standard. http://www.thestandard.com.hk/stdn/std/Front_Page/GA14Aa01.html. Retrieved 13 December 2007. 
  8. ^ Gittings, John (2002-04-08). "Plans unveiled in China for Taiwan tunnel". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/apr/08/china.johngittings. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 

Further reading

  • Bush, R. & O'Hanlon, M. (2007). A War Like No Other: The Truth About China's Challenge to America. Wiley. ISBN 0471986771
  • Bush, R. (2006). Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0815712901
  • Carpenter, T. (2006). America's Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1403968411
  • Cole, B. (2006). Taiwan's Security: History and Prospects. Routledge. ISBN 0415365813
  • Copper, J. (2006). Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China over Taiwan. Praeger Security International General Interest. ISBN 0275988880
  • 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 0815731469
  • Shirk, S. (2007). China: Fragile Superpower: How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195306090
  • Tsang, S. (2006). If China Attacks Taiwan: Military Strategy, Politics and Economics. Routledge. ISBN 0415407850
  • Tucker, N.B. (2005). Dangerous Strait: the U.S.-Taiwan-China Crisis. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231135645
  • 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

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Taiwan Strait — strait between Taiwan & Fujian province, China, joining the East & South China seas: c. 100 mi (161 km) wide …   English World dictionary

  • Taiwan Strait — an arm of the Pacific Ocean between China and Taiwan, connecting the East and South China Seas. Formerly, Formosa Strait. * * * or Formosa Strait Arm of the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Lying between the coast of China s Fujian province and the… …   Universalium

  • Taiwan Strait — or Formosa Strait geographical name strait between Taiwan & China mainland connecting East China & South China seas …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Taiwan Strait — n. Formosa Strait, strait (of the Pacific Ocean) between Taiwan and China …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Taiwan Strait — Tai′wan Strait′ n. geg an arm of the Pacific Ocean between China and Taiwan, connecting the East and South China seas Formerly, Formosa Strait …   From formal English to slang

  • Taiwan Strait — /taɪwɒn ˈstreɪt/ (say tuywon strayt) noun a strait of the Pacific between the island of Taiwan and the mainland of China. Formerly, Formosa Strait …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Taiwan Strait — noun the channel of water between mainland China and Taiwan which is part of the South China Sea and connects to East China Sea to the northeast Syn: Formosa Strait …   Wiktionary

  • Taiwan Strait — an arm of the Pacific Ocean between China and Taiwan, connecting the East and South China Seas. Formerly, Formosa Strait …   Useful english dictionary

  • Taiwan Strait Tunnel Project — The Taiwan Strait Tunnel Project is an Undersea tunnel or bridge proposed primarily by the Chinese government to link Pingtan in China to Hsinchu in Taiwan. However, the project has never been considered realistic in Taiwan because of its… …   Wikipedia

  • Taiwan Strait Crisis — The Taiwan Strait Crisis may refer to:* the First Taiwan Strait Crisis (1954 1955) * the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis (1958) * the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis (1995 1996) …   Wikipedia

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