A Naval Message for China

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 23, 2018

Two US warships made a "routine passage" through the Taiwan Strait on Monday, in a move that is sure to ruffle feathers in Beijing as its relations with Washington continue to deteriorate. Nate Christensen, a spokesman for the Hawaii-based U.S. Pacific Fleet, told CNN.

"The Ministry of National Defense said today that two United States ships have sailed from the south to the north through the Taiwan Strait", said a translation of the statement.

The ministry said it was in full control of the situation during the USA warships' journey through the Taiwan Strait, the self-ruled island's defense ministry said in a statement.

Although the US and most nations consider much of the 110-mile Taiwan Strait to be worldwide waters, transiting there has always been a source of tension for Beijing. "The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere worldwide law allows".

Multiple Chinese warships shadowed the two USA vessels during the transit, following at a safe distance, defense officials told CNN.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry first confirmed the transit in a statement.

There are also tensions between the two countries over China's growing military presence on man-made islands in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

In response, the USA sent two aircraft carrier groups through the Taiwan Strait. That incident followed a string of US Air Force bomber flights through the disputed East and South China Seas, flights Beijing characterised as "provocative".

While the USA and China cooperate in denuclearizing North Korea, tensions have increased as both the US and China have engaged in a trade war.

Beijing recently conducted a series of military maneuvers, including a live fire exercise in the Taiwan Strait in April, declaring its willingness to confront Taiwan's "independence forces".

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