Skip to content

China’s Claims on Taiwan Strait Could Raise Tensions With US

  • Beijing says strategic chokepoint isn’t international waters
  • US Navy regularly transits waterway to show navigation rights
Video player cover image
Shangri-La Defense Talks Focus on Taiwan
Updated on

China’s assertions that the Taiwan Strait doesn’t qualify as international waters raises tensions over the nautical flash point, through which US warships transit in a symbolic challenge to Beijing’s territorial claims over the democratically governed island.

While it’s unclear what Beijing means by “international waters,” the language may be intended to deter the US from sailing through the strait, a practice which China has said harms stability and sends the wrong signal to “Taiwan independence forces.” Chinese officials have made such remarks repeatedly in meetings with US counterparts in recent months, according to a person familiar with the situation, in what seems to be a change of position.