WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military said it sent two Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, its latest transit through the sensitive waterway and a move likely to anger Beijing at a time of tense relations between the world’s two biggest economies.
Taiwan is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, which also include a bitter trade war, U.S. sanctions and China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea, where the United States also conducts freedom-of-navigation patrols.
Voyage - Taiwan - Sign - Support - Trump
The voyage will be viewed by self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from the Trump administration amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing.
The transit was carried out by the destroyer Preble and the Navy oil tanker Walter S. Diehl, a U.S. military spokesman told Reuters.
Ships - Transit - Taiwan - Strait - US
“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet, said in a statement.
Doss said all interactions were safe and professional.
Taiwan - Defense - Ministry - US - Ships
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the two U.S. ships had sailed north through the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the transit and nothing out of the ordinary happened, it added.
There was no immediate reaction from China.
US - Warships - Taiwan - Strait - Month
U.S. warships have sailed through the Taiwan Strait at least once a month since the start of this year. The United States restarted such missions on a regular basis last July.
The United States has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to...
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