Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2018, Vol. 73 ›› Issue (12): 2282-2296.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201812002

• Political Geography and Global Maritime Transport Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Changes of ports' connection across the Taiwan Straits in the global maritime network (1895-2016)

WANG Liehui1,2,3(),LIN Yushan1,2,Cesar DUCRUET4   

  1. 1. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    2. School of Urban and Regional Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    3. Future City Lab, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    4. French National Center for Scientific Research, UMR 8504 Géographie-cités, Paris F-75006, France;
  • Received:2017-11-27 Online:2018-12-14 Published:2018-12-14
  • Supported by:
    Shanghai Social Science Academic Foundation, No.2018BCK010;National Social Foundation of China, No.16ZDA016;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41371140;The MOE Project of Key Research Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at Universities, No.17JJD790007;The European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme [FP/2007-2013]/ERC, No.313847

Abstract:

Taiwan and the Chinese mainland face each other across the sea, and maritime transport is the most important means for the exchange of goods between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. Affected by international politics and trade patterns, since the middle and late 19th century, the transportation links between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits have changed dramatically. Using the O-D data of vessels transiting between ports from the Lloyd's database between 1895 and 2008, we studied the changes in the transport links between ports on both sides of the Taiwan Straits at the national and global scales. The analysis concludes as follows: (1) Since before the beginning of modern times until Taiwan was ceded to Japan, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland had island-land relations, and Xiamen Port was the most important transit port to Taiwan. After the Japanese occupation, Taiwan became Japan's source of raw materials and a location in which to sell Japan's goods, and Taiwan, Japan, and the Chinese mainland were forming triangular transportation links. After the confrontation between the two sides of the strait, the United States intervened in the Taiwan Straits, and the transportation links between the ports on both sides of the Taiwan Straits were cut off. Taiwan, the United States, and Japan formed a triangular trade network. After 1979, Hong Kong Port became the most important transit port for cross-strait transport links. After direct flights across the Taiwan Straits were instituted, the port transportation links between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland continued to expand in breadth and depth. (2) Taiwan has obvious advantages in location, but because it is an island, the hinterland is narrow. Therefore, making full use of regional and geopolitical advantages, using the regional economic growth centre as its own foreland and forming a close sea transportation link is key to Taiwan's sustained economic development. Improving relations with the mainland, sharing in opportunities for the development of the mainland, and promoting the transport links between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits are opportunities for Taiwan.

Key words: port links, cross-strait, shipping network, international politics, trade patterns