Major Straits of the World
Straits of Pacific Ocean
- The Taiwan Strait is a 180 kilometer wide strait separating the island of Taiwan and continental Asia.
- 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 wide.
- The Taiwan Strait is itself a subject of international dispute over its political status.
- The People’s Republic of China claims to enjoy “sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait” and regards the waterway as “internal territorial waters” instead of being international waters.
- This position has drawn strong objections from the United States, Australia, France and Taiwan.
- Tsushima Strait is a channel of the Korea Strait, which lies between Korea and Japan, connecting the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea, and the East China Sea.
- The strait is the channel to the east and southeast of Tsushima Island, with the Japanese islands of Honshu to the east and northeast, and Kyushu and the Gotō Islands to the south and southeast.
- It is narrowest south-east of Shimono-shima, the south end of Tsushima Island proper, constricted there by nearby Iki Island, which lies wholly in the strait near the tip of Honshu.
- The Strait was the site of the decisive naval battle in the Russo-Japanese War, the Battle of Tsushima, between the Japanese and Russian navies in 1905; in which the Russian fleet was virtually destroyed.
- The Drake Passage is the body of water between South America’s Cape Horn, Chile and the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica.
- It connects the southwestern part of the Atlantic Ocean (Scotia Sea) with the southeastern part of the Pacific Ocean and extends into the Southern Ocean.
- The Drake Passage is considered one of the most treacherous voyages for ships to make.
- As the Drake Passage is the narrowest passage around Antarctica, its existence and shape strongly influence the circulation of water around Antarctica and the global oceanic circulation, as well as the global climate.
- The passage received its English name from the 16th-century pirate Francis Drake during his circumnavigation.