Navy Sails 2 Ships Through Taiwan Strait in Defiance of China

Pauline Gross
October 23, 2018

Two U.S. Navy warships sailed through the global waters of the Taiwan Strait on Monday, the body of water separating China and Taiwan, the island nation that China considers a breakaway province.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur and Ticonderoga-class cruiser USS Antietam traversed the strait Monday, US Pacific Fleet confirmed to Business Insider.

Two U.S. vessels sailed through the Taiwan Strait from waters near Eluanbi, the southern tip of Taiwan island, toward the north on Monday, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said in a statement on its website.

The warships passed through Taiwan Strait as the USA military increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China. "The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere global law allows".

The latest operation shows the U.S. Navy is increasing the pace of strait passages.

In response, the USA sent two aircraft carrier groups through the Taiwan Strait.

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China views Taiwan as a wayward province and has been ramping up pressure to assert its sovereignty over the island. Taiwan receives support and defense funding from the United States in line with a 1979 bilateral agreement.

China, concerned that USA military actions around Taiwan will embolden pro-independence factions on the self-ruled island, has bolstered its military presence in the area this past year. The U.S. has also accused China of engaging in cyberattacks against the U.S. government and businesses.

The ministry emphasized that it has full knowledge of the passage near and on waters controlled by the country, and has the capability to maintain peace and stability of the country's territorial waters and airspace over it.

Hua said Beijing urged Washington to "scrupulously abide by the one-China principle" and "carefully handle the Taiwan-related issues in an appropriate manner".

It has also viewed USA overtures toward Taiwan with alarm, including its unveiling a new de facto embassy in Taiwan and passage of the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages US officials to visit the island.

Other reports by GizPress

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