In short: an American spy plane was chased out of Chinese airspace by two fighters… which then breached Taiwanese airspace, prompting Taiwanese F-16’s in turn to chase them out. The View from Taiwan gets into more detail, and explains why the Strait is such a contentious issue:
As this 2004 piece in the Straits Times observes, the line has never been clearly defined between the three gov’ts — because Beijing fears that a clear cut demarcation in the Strait will make Taiwan even more independent than it already is. Other pieces give clear lines.
In 2004 the TSU actually called for a new constitution to clearly define what is Taiwan’s and what is China’s in the Strait — who owns what in the Taiwan Strait will become yet another contested issue if Taiwan formally ratifies its existing de-facto independence one day. You can imagine what China will do — fight rearguard sovereignty actions over the Penghu, which are “indisputably Chinese and have been for every freakin’ second of the last 5000 thousand years.” Then will come the struggles over fishing and mineral rights. Taiwan independence won’t be the end of the process of disengagement from China, but the beginning of one….
It should be clear by now that the whole fictional construction of “5,000 years of Chinese history” exists merely to facilitate China’s territorial expansion.
I’m curious about how this is being covered in Chinese-language press. Do they cover it loudly as an example of American imperialism, and just trail off about Taiwan’s role? Do they just ignore the entire thing? Do they concoct some even more outlandish stance on it?