china is needling the US and the President-elect Donald Trump by sailing its aircraft carrier (the Liaoning) and its squadron of warships through the narrow Taiwan strait. The strait that separates Taiwan from the mainland is 160 km wide, and sailing the aircraft carrier is a clear case of provocation. This happened after the President-elect accepted a call from the Taiwan president. China has for long insisted on a "One China" policy, and claims Taiwan as part of China. It reserves the right to reunify the island by force if necessary. This is not the first act of provocation, as earlier, the Chinese navy seized a drone of the US navy.

It returned the drone later but the belligerence of the Chinese showed through in the event. The Taiwan navy monitored the movement of the aircraft carrier and its support fleet all along China.

Belligerent China

Donald Trump is going to be the 45th president of the USA and will be sworn in on the 20th of January. His mind, however, would be focussed on China. He has already castigated China for unfair trade practices, and made a pointed remark about the Chinese having built a fortress in the South China sea (which is disputed). Trump blames the Obama administration for this. China is flexing its muscles and part of this saber rattling has been the exercises by the Liaoning with its flotilla of warships in the South China Sea.

The Liaoning has now sailed through the Taiwan strait in a blatant show of power.

Facing China

Donald Trump as president will have to face the dragon. He has already commented on the "One China" policy, and said that, for following this policy, the United States has not gotten much in return. He wants China to stop its unfair trade practices as well.

The Chinese are wary of Trump. The fact is, at the moment, with just one aircraft carrier, the Chinese navy is in no position to challenge the US navy. Due to this, they have the aim of constructing more carriers, but, they do not have much experience in this area. The US Navy has a head start, and it will be interesting to see how Donald squares up to China.