NewsTwo US warships transit the Taiwan Strait

Two US warships transit the Taiwan Strait

Two US warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the US Navy said, in the first such transit since China held unprecedented military exercises around the island.

Tensions across the Taiwan Strait rose this month to their highest point in years following a visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Beijing reacted furiously to the visit and held sea and air exercises for days around the self-governing island.

The US Navy, confirming a Reuters report, said the cruisers Chancellorsville and Antietam were carrying out the ongoing operation, of a type that typically last eight to 12 hours.

The Chinese Army’s Eastern Theater Command said it was following the ships and warning them. “Theater troops remain on high alert and are ready to thwart any provocation at any time,” it added in a statement.

In recent years, US warships, and sometimes those of allied nations such as Britain and Canada, have routinely sailed through the strait, drawing the ire of China, which claims Taiwan against the objections of its democratically elected government. .

In a statement, the Navy said the transit “demonstrates America’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

The Taiwan Strait has been a frequent source of military tension since the defeated ROC government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the communists, who established the People’s Republic of China.

Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion by China, which claims this democratically ruled island as part of its territory and has vowed to one day take it back, even by force if necessary.

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

With information from AFP and Reuters.

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