China Taiwan Conflict: Reason, History, Timeline of Events and recent updates

China and Taiwan do not get along. This is known to the world. China considers Taiwan its breakaway state since the Civil War. Take a look at the reason of the conflict, the current situation and timeline of events below.
Created On: Jun 16, 2021 17:45 IST
Modified On: Jun 16, 2021 18:23 IST
China Taiwan Conflict
China Taiwan Conflict

China Taiwan Conflict: Why in the News?

China recently flew 28 fighter jets towards Taiwan on June 15, 2021. Taiwan is a self ruled island nation. The defense ministry of Taiwan said that this was the biggest display of force since it began sending planes on a daily basis last year. 

In response to that Taiwan's air force deployed its combat air patrol systems to monitor the situation in it's south west part.

Various fighter jets like J16 and J11 planes as well as bombers were used by China. This time flights surpassed the previous peak of 25 planes that were reportedly sent on April 12. 

Take a look at the tweet below to know the details.

Reason of the current conflict: 

The flights this time indicate China's acknowledgement of the statement of G7 industrialised nations regarding peaceful resolution of Cross-Taiwan Strait issues pressing on the importance of peace and security there. 

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian said that G7 was interfering in China's internal affairs without having any right to do so.  He added that China would safeguard its national sovereignty and security and development.

China Taiwan Missile ramges 

Have a look at the picture above to know the dangers of Chinese attacks on Taiwan and the role US can play. 

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China-Taiwan Conflict: History and Timeline of Events

  1. It was under the former President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, that it had a pleasant relationship with China but under Tsai Ing -wen, the relationship has hit the rock. 
  2. Tsai is from the Democratic Progressive Party which seeks better relations between Washington and Taipei. Due to this Beijing has grown hostile towards her. 
  3. Although Taiwan had separated from Mainland China years back, it is still regarded by the latter as a breakaway province that has separated due to civil war.
  4. How it started:
  5. Tensions between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) caused an armed conflict over various strategic islands in the Taiwan Strait in the 1950s. On two separate occasions during the 1950s, the PRC bombed islands controlled by the ROC. The ROC was then helped by the USA.
  6. The importance of the islands in Taiwan Strait was due to their role in the Chinese Civil war and the proximity to China and Taiwan. 
  7. Kinmen is two miles away from Xiamen and Matsu is ten miles away from Fuzhou. These both are about 100 miles from Taiwan. 
  8. In the 1950s, a nationalist army's wing fled to Taiwan and established troops on the islands mentioned above. China saw the islands as potential launch pads and thus a threat to Chinese mainland. 
  9. The policy of the US contributed towards East Asia and Taiwan Strait tensions. 
  10. During the Korean conflict when the USA sent the seventh fleet to help Taiwan, it angered the Chinese communists who then helped Koreans to invade Taiwan. 
  11. It was in 1954 when the US officials created the  Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, which was designed to unify the region against the perceived Communist threat.
  12. PRC saw these developments as a threat to its national security and sovereignty.  PRC then bombarded the Kinmen islands and set its targets for Matsu too. 
  13. In January 1955, the U.S. Congress passed the “Formosa Resolution,” which gave President Eisenhower total authority to defend Taiwan and the off-shore islands. However after the US committed its support and almost launched an attack to defend Taiwan, the troops were decided to be withdrawn from Dalchen islands.
  14. Later at the Afro Asian Conference that year PRC Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai announced China's desire to negotiate with the United States. However after the talks PRC resumed its bombardment of Kinmen and Matsu in 1958.
  15. The United States thus arranged to re-supply ROC garrisons on Kinmen and Matsu. This took 20 years there forward to ease tensions between the two nations.

Taiwan Strait 

Recent Status of Relationship:

It was in October 2020 when the US approved a military deal with Taiwan after 1979 and in April 2021, the US state department issued new guidelines encouraging diplomatic engagement with Taiwan. China still sees all this as a threat to its sovereignty. Although Xi Jinping called for a dialogue to end the decade long animosity between the two nations, there has been no solution yet. China even stopped the student exchange programs now and Kiribati islands left Taiwans side to join China. 

The US embassy in France invited Taiwan’s envoy to a meeting this year too. Most recently three US senators took a C-17 military plane to Taiwan to announce the donation of 750,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

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