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The '''Third Taiwan Strait Crisis''', also called the '''1995–1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis''' or the '''1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis''', was the effect of a series of missile tests conducted by the [[People's Republic of China]] (PRC) in the waters surrounding Taiwan including the Taiwan Strait from July 21, 1995 to March 23, 1996. The first set of missiles fired in mid-to-late 1995 were allegedly intended to send a strong signal to the Republic of China (ROC) government under [[Lee Teng-hui]], who had been seen as moving ROC foreign policy away from the [[One-China policy]]. The second set of missiles were fired in early 1996, allegedly intending to intimidate the Taiwanese electorate in the run-up to the 1996 presidential election.
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The '''Third Taiwan Strait Crisis''', also called the '''1995–1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis''' or the '''1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis''', was the effect of a series of missile tests conducted by the [[People's Republic of China]] (PRC) in the waters surrounding Taiwan including the Taiwan Strait from July 21, 1995 to March 23, 1996. The first set of missiles fired in mid-to-late 1995 were allegedly intended to send a strong signal to the Republic of China (ROC) government under [[Lee Teng-hui]], who had been seen as moving ROC foreign policy away from the [[One-China policy]]. The second set of missiles were fired in early 1996, allegedly intending to intimidate the Taiwanese electorate in the run-up to the [[Republic of China presidential election, 1996|1996 presidential election]].
   
 
==Lee's 1995 visit to Cornell==
 
==Lee's 1995 visit to Cornell==
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==U.S. military response==
 
==U.S. military response==
The U.S. government responded by staging the biggest display of American military might in Asia since the [[Vietnam War]].<ref>[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/asia_pac/04/taiwan_flashpoint/html/us_role.stm BBC Report]</ref> President Clinton ordered additional ships into the region in March 1996. Two [[Carrier battle group|aircraft carrier battlegroups]], [[Carrier Group Seven]] centered on {{USS|Nimitz|CVN-68|6}}, and [[Carrier Strike Group Five|Carrier Group Five]] centered on [[USS Independence (CV-62)|USS ''Independence'']], were present in the region, and have been publicly claimed to have entered the Taiwan Strait. The [[USS Independence (CV-62)|''Independence'']] battle group was homeported in Japan at the time, and was in the area during the crisis, but reportedly remained outside of the effective exclusion zone delineated by Chinese weapons tests, posing no challenge to what some have interpreted as a de facto Chinese blockade of the strait.{{citation needed|date=November 2014}} There is no evidence that the [[USS Nimitz (CVN-68)|''Nimitz'']] battlegroup ever reached the vicinity of Taiwan.{{Citation needed|date=November 2014}}
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The U.S. government responded by staging the biggest display of American military might in Asia since the [[Vietnam War]].<ref>[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/asia_pac/04/taiwan_flashpoint/html/us_role.stm BBC Report]</ref> President Clinton ordered additional ships into the region in March 1996. Two [[Carrier battle group|aircraft carrier battlegroups]], [[Carrier Group Seven]] centered on {{USS|Nimitz|CVN-68|6}}, and [[Carrier Strike Group Five|Carrier Group Five]] centered on [[USS Independence (CV-62)|USS ''Independence'']], were present in the region, and have been publicly claimed to have entered the Taiwan Strait. The [[USS Independence (CV-62)|''Independence'']] battle group was homeported in Japan at the time, and was in the area during the crisis, but reportedly remained outside of the effective exclusion zone delineated by Chinese weapons tests, posing no challenge to what some have interpreted as a de facto Chinese blockade of the strait.{{citation needed|date=November 2013}} There is no evidence that the [[USS Nimitz (CVN-68)|''Nimitz'']] battlegroup ever reached the vicinity of Taiwan.{{Citation needed|date=November 2013}}
   
 
==Run-up to the 1996 election==
 
==Run-up to the 1996 election==
Beijing intended to send a message to the Taiwanese electorate that voting for Lee Teng-hui in the 1996 presidential election meant war. A third set of PLA tests from March 8 to March 15 (just shortly preceding the March 23 election), sent missiles within 25 to 35 miles (just inside the ROC's territorial waters) off the ports of Keelung and Kaohsiung. Over 70 percent of commercial shipping passed through the targeted ports, which were disrupted by the proximity of the tests. Flights to Japan and trans-Pacific flights were prolonged by ten minutes because airplanes needed to detour away from the flight path. Ships traveling between Kaohsiung and Hong Kong had to take a two-hour detour.
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Beijing intended to send a message to the Taiwanese electorate that voting for Lee Teng-hui in the [[ROC presidential election, 1996|1996 presidential election]] meant war. A third set of PLA tests from March 8 to March 15 (just shortly preceding the March 23 election), sent missiles within 25 to 35 miles (just inside the ROC's territorial waters) off the ports of Keelung and Kaohsiung. Over 70 percent of commercial shipping passed through the targeted ports, which were disrupted by the proximity of the tests. Flights to Japan and trans-Pacific flights were prolonged by ten minutes because airplanes needed to detour away from the flight path. Ships traveling between Kaohsiung and Hong Kong had to take a two-hour detour.
   
 
On March 8, 1996, also a presidential election year in the U.S., the U.S. government under President Clinton announced that it was deploying the [[USS Independence (CV-62)|''Independence'']] [[carrier battle group]] (CVBG), already stationed in the western Pacific, to international waters near Taiwan. On the following day, the PRC announced live-fire exercises to be conducted near Penghu from March 12–20. On March 11, the U.S. despatched [[Carrier Group Seven]], centered around [[USS Nimitz (CVN-68)|''Nimitz'']], which steamed at high speed from the Persian Gulf. Tensions rose further on March 15 when Beijing announced a simulated amphibious assault planned for March 18–25.
 
On March 8, 1996, also a presidential election year in the U.S., the U.S. government under President Clinton announced that it was deploying the [[USS Independence (CV-62)|''Independence'']] [[carrier battle group]] (CVBG), already stationed in the western Pacific, to international waters near Taiwan. On the following day, the PRC announced live-fire exercises to be conducted near Penghu from March 12–20. On March 11, the U.S. despatched [[Carrier Group Seven]], centered around [[USS Nimitz (CVN-68)|''Nimitz'']], which steamed at high speed from the Persian Gulf. Tensions rose further on March 15 when Beijing announced a simulated amphibious assault planned for March 18–25.
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Aware of U.S. Navy carrier battle groups' credible threat to the PLA Navy, the PRC decided to accelerate its military build up. Soon the People's Republic ordered [[Sovremenny class destroyer]]s from Russia, a Cold-War era class designed to counter U.S. Navy carrier groups, allegedly in mid-December 1996 during the visit to Moscow by Chinese Premier [[Li Peng]]. The PRC subsequently ordered modern attack submarines (Kilo Class) and warplanes (76 Su-30MKK and 24 Su-30MK2) to counter the U.S. Navy's carrier battle groups.
 
Aware of U.S. Navy carrier battle groups' credible threat to the PLA Navy, the PRC decided to accelerate its military build up. Soon the People's Republic ordered [[Sovremenny class destroyer]]s from Russia, a Cold-War era class designed to counter U.S. Navy carrier groups, allegedly in mid-December 1996 during the visit to Moscow by Chinese Premier [[Li Peng]]. The PRC subsequently ordered modern attack submarines (Kilo Class) and warplanes (76 Su-30MKK and 24 Su-30MK2) to counter the U.S. Navy's carrier battle groups.
   
The PRC's attempts at intimidation were counterproductive. Arousing more anger than fear, it boosted Lee by 5% in the polls, earning him a majority as opposed to a mere plurality.{{Citation needed|date=November 2014}} The military tests and exercises also strengthened the argument for further U.S. arms sales to the ROC and led to the strengthening of military ties between the U.S. and Japan, increasing the role Japan would play in defending Taiwan.
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The PRC's attempts at intimidation were counterproductive. Arousing more anger than fear, it boosted Lee by 5% in the polls, earning him a majority as opposed to a mere plurality.{{Citation needed|date=November 2013}} The military tests and exercises also strengthened the argument for further U.S. arms sales to the ROC and led to the strengthening of military ties between the U.S. and Japan, increasing the role Japan would play in defending Taiwan.
   
 
During the military exercises in March, there were preoccupations in Taiwan that the PRC would occupy some small island controlled by Taiwan. Many flights to the United States and Canada were full.<ref>http://news.ifeng.com/history/2/shidian/200803/0314_2666_441130.shtml</ref> The then secretary general of National Security Council of Taiwan, Ding Mou-shih (丁懋時), flew to New York to meet [[Sandy Berger|Samuel Berger]], [[Deputy National Security Advisor]] of the United States.<ref>http://ias.cass.cn/show/show_mgyj.asp?id=1225&table=mgyj</ref>
 
During the military exercises in March, there were preoccupations in Taiwan that the PRC would occupy some small island controlled by Taiwan. Many flights to the United States and Canada were full.<ref>http://news.ifeng.com/history/2/shidian/200803/0314_2666_441130.shtml</ref> The then secretary general of National Security Council of Taiwan, Ding Mou-shih (丁懋時), flew to New York to meet [[Sandy Berger|Samuel Berger]], [[Deputy National Security Advisor]] of the United States.<ref>http://ias.cass.cn/show/show_mgyj.asp?id=1225&table=mgyj</ref>

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