US Navy warships pass through Taiwan Strait in first since Pelosi trip

Washington said the transit “demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Two US warships have sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the American navy said, the first such transit since China staged unprecedented military drills around the island.

In a statement on Sunday, the US Navy said the transit “demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville are conducting a routine transit, the US 7th Fleet said.

The cruisers “transited through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State,” the statement said.

Tensions in the Taiwan Strait soared to their highest level in years this month after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei.

China has sent many warships sailing in the Taiwan Strait and waters surrounding Taiwan since Pelosi’s visit, as well as sending warplanes and firing long-range missiles.

It views the island as part of its national territory and opposes any visits by foreign governments as recognizing Taiwan as its own state.

Washington diplomatically recognises Beijing, but maintains de facto relations with Taiwan and supports the island’s right to decide its future.

The US regularly sends its ships through the Taiwan Strait as part of what it calls freedom of navigation manoeuvres.

The 160-kilometre-wide strait divides Taiwan from China.

Source: TRT

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