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Chinese Aircraft Carrier Appears in Strait of Taiwan

Posted: January 11, 2017 at 2:00 pm   /   by

In a daring move, China sent its lone aircraft carrier to the Strait of Taiwan. For its part, China says the carrier was en route from military drills in the South China Sea, and its course fell within international law. China has also defended its regional role, claiming a steadfast commitment to peace and stability. Assertions aside, the timing of the carrier’s appearance looks to be quite deliberate, when the relationship between China and Taiwan has returned to the public eye. This is but one aspect of China that will undoubtedly recieve Presidential and Congressional attention in the near future.

In response to the Chinese carrier, Taiwan scrambled both jets and ships. The vessels served to track the carrier’s activity. These actions, naturally, are undepinned by the phone conversation between President-Elect Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen. The call has apparently intensified Chinese suspicions that Taiwan wants to upend history by seeking recognition as an independent nation. The long history between the two countries also ensures difficulties for the other countries that have claims in the South China Sea. China has been an eager defender of its territorial claims, its tactics earning regional and international scrutiny. Just prior to this incident, two American politicians would discuss these issues with President Tsai.

Senator Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott, both from Texas, met with the Taiwanese President just days ago. Their discussion focused on the bilateral relation between Taiwan and America, and ways that our economies can work together. President Tsai’s brief stop in America did not involve any interaction with the President-Elect or his transition team. While it has been traditional for lawmakers to meet with Taiwanese presidents, China sent a letter to Congress requesting they not see President Tsai at all. With the innnaguration just days away, China may have more to worry about than symbolic meetings.


Image Source: Voice of America/Wikimedia
License: Public Domain

Joshua Ely

Joshua Ely is a writer with a long-standing interest in the history that shaped the U.S. and the events that impact America’s global interests. A graduate of Washington College with a political-science degree, Joshua has written for the think tank the Jewish Policy Center, and the news site

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Chinese Aircraft Carrier Appears in Strait of Taiwan