Two US warships move into Taiwan Strait

Pauline Gross
July 9, 2018

The Chinese Communist Party-affiliated newspaper on Monday condemned the passage of a pair of U.S. Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait as a "psychological game" amid the showdown over trade and relations with Taiwan.

Two U.S. Navy ships sailed through the Taiwan Strait this weekend, the body of water separating China and Taiwan.

Beijing also criticized the US efforts to foster the relationship with the Taiwanese government and its president Tsai Ing-wen, including the opening of a new office complex for the American Institute in Taiwan that works essentially as Washington's informal embassy due to the absence of formal diplomatic ties since 1949.

The US warships entered the Taiwan Strait on Saturday and were still in the waterway as of Saturday night, Taiwan's defense ministry reported. In 2007, a USA aircraft carrier sailed through the strait on its way to home port in Japan, a route Washington described then as a safety move due to weather.

China has claimed that Taiwan is part of the country, while Taiwan views itself as an independent nation.

Beijing has cut off official contacts with Taiwan since Tsai took office because the Tsai administration rejects the "1992 consensus" that provided the foundation for cross-strait relations between China and Taiwan's previous government under the Kuomintang.

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The move comes as a U.S.

The last time a USA. aircraft carrier passed through the Taiwan Strait was when the USS Kitty Hawk transited it in 2007.

US overtures towards Taiwan, from unveiling a new de facto embassy to passing the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages USA officials to visit, have further escalated tension between Beijing and Taipei.

The national airline is the latest to fall in line with China's demands to drop references to Taiwan as a separate entity. An American aircraft carrier has not sailed through the Strait since 2007. The Chinese military also recently conducted large-scale military exercises that analysts saw as a warning over growing ties between the United States and Taiwan.

In recent months, China's air force has held military maneuvers near the island, which Taipei has called intimidation.

Since April, China has reached to 44 foreign air carriers, asking them to designate Taiwan as part of China.

Other reports by GizPress

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