Military Contest


  • Date:2018/08/01

“At the start of H2 2018, the military contest between Washington and Beijing has evolved to include the matter of Taiwan, showing the ‘strategic divergence’ being played out in the South China Sea has extended to the Taiwan Strait issue.”

--Evans Chen Liang-chih (陳亮智), acting chief of the Division of National Defense Strategies and Policies (國防戰略與政策研究所)


Military Contest

The following table shows some of the US vs PRC military developments between January to the start of August 2018 compiled by Evans Chen Liang-chih (
陳亮智), acting chief of the Division of National Defense Strategies and Policies (國防戰略與政策研究所). The table was first published in the August edition of Defense Situation Monthly (國防情勢月報), our Chinese-language monthly newsletter by INDSR experts that addresses overall defense and international security issues.

“From the perspective of recent developments, the many actions friendly to Taiwan by the United States are countering Beijing’s military expansion in the South China Sea in recent years, its breaking out of the first island chain, and the PLA’s increasing military pressure on Taiwan. We are experiencing a rare ‘period of strategic opportunity’ with the United States as Washington puts renewed attention on the Taiwan Strait issue,” Chen says. 

2018
PRC USA
5 January Liaoning aircraft carrier group sails southward via Taiwan Strait
20 March Liaoning aircraft carrier group sails southward via Taiwan Strait
1 April USS Theodore Roosevelt sails through disputed islands in South China Sea
11-13 April Military drills in South China Sea
18 April Military drills in Quanzhou Bay off Fujian Province
25 April Two B-52 bombers flyover Dongsha Islands (also known as Pratas Islands) in South China Sea
22 May Two B-52 bombers flyover southern waters off Taiwan
23 May Disinvites China from RIMPAC war games
31 May B-52 bomber flies near Taiwan’s ADIZ heading into South China Sea
7-8 July Two destroyers sail via the Taiwan Strait to join up with the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier group
18-23 July Live ammunition drills in East Sea (also known as the East China Sea) Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver refers to Taiwan Strait as international waters
26 July US House of Representatives passes 2019 NDAA
1 August US Senate passes 2019 NDAA