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A map showing the Taiwan Strait Area
Strait centre point:
|Traditional Chinese||臺灣海峽 or 台灣海峽|
|Hokkien POJ||Tâi-ôan Hái-kiap|
|Traditional Chinese||臺海 or 台海|
|Second alternative Chinese name|
The Taiwan Strait, or Formosa Strait, is a 180 kilometres (110 mi)-wide strait separating the island of Taiwan from mainland China (People's Republic of China). The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to the East China Sea to the north. The narrowest part is 130 km (81 mi) wide.
The Taiwan Strait is the section of sea between the Chinese mainland (in Asia) and the island of Taiwan.
Much of China's Fujian Province is west of the strait, having the main islands of Kinmen, Xiamen (a major city overspilling into the mainland and including Gulangyu Island), Pingtan and Matsu just off its coast. The Penghu or Pescadores Islands lie in the east of the strait. Fishermen use the strait as a fishing resource. All of Fujian's rivers (the largest being the Min and, second-largest, the Jiulong) run into the strait, except the Ting. Taiwan's government administers Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu. The strait is on the continental shelf, it is almost entirely less than 150 m deep, with a brief ravine of that depth off the south-west of Taiwan. It hosts major shipping lanes including over a bank, around 25 m in depth (40–60km north of the Penghu archipelago).
The Strait has been the theatre for several military confrontations between the PLAN and ROCN since the last days of the Chinese Civil War in 1949 when the Kuomintang (KMT) forces led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek retreated across the Strait and relocated their government to their final stronghold of Taiwan. A theoretical median maritime border known as the cross-strait median (海峽中線) also exists on the water to prevent certain transportation from passing.
As part of the People's Republic of China's National Expressway Plan, a tunnel or possibly a bridge, was proposed in 2005 to link the city of Fuzhou with Taipei across the strait. If such an extreme construction were ever built, it would by far exceed the length of any man-made tunnel in the world today. Engineers in Beijing state that a tunnel is technically feasible. However, the Republic of China government in Taiwan has refused to open direct links out of concern for Taiwan's security and in fear that by doing so it would have to recognize the People's Republic of China's one-China policy, since China split into two in the Chinese Civil War and they still have an adversarial relationship.
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