Whether it was Taiwan or Japan who first detected a Chinese Han-class nuclear submarine in Japanese territorial waters remains something of a mystery. But what this incident does indicate is that China is seeking to break through the First Island Chain that the US has established to contain it, and that its ambitions to approach the Second Island Chain are growing daily. If the US, Japan and Taiwan cannot establish an effective "security alliance," then this unstable chain around China will become a source of concern for the future security of East Asia.
\nThe First Island Chain refers to a curved line hemming in China that runs from Japan through Taiwan, the Philippines and on to Indonesia. During the Cold War it was regarded as the US's first line of defense. The Second Island Chain refers to a line from the island of Midway through Guam, the Marianas, the South Pacific Islands and the Palau Islands. This was the US' second line of defense, which also defended its own territory.
\nIn 1993, Liu Huaqing (
ILLUSTRATION MOUNTAIN PEOPLE
Rather than a “diplomatic win,” the recently announced opening of a Taiwan office in Guyana proved to be a source of disappointment and displeasure. The government in Georgetown decided to halt the mutual establishment of representative offices less than 24 hours after the agreement was announced. Unsurprisingly, the “China factor” appears to have been the primary reason behind this reversal. The Guyanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs explicitly stated that the country would “continue to adhere to the one China policy” as it nixed the agreement with Taipei. Why does Guyana matter, though? International attention on this Caribbean nation of less than 1
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