March 25, 2023

Two U.S. warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the first such transit since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a surprise visit to Taiwan earlier this month.

guided missile cruiser USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville The U.S. 7th Fleet said a routine pass was made.

A statement issued by Japan’s fleet headquarters outlined the ships “passing through a corridor in the strait that extends beyond the territorial waters of any coastal state”.

“The passage of this ship through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. forces fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” the statement added.

China Say It tracks the movement of the vessel. “The troops in the (eastern) theater are on high alert and ready to thwart any provocation,” said Colonel Shi Yi, a spokesman for the PLA’s eastern theater.

China views Taiwan as territory and has repeatedly vowed to one day seize it, using force if necessary.

Washington says the strait is an international waterway and that despite China’s repeated threats of aggression, it is also bound to support its allies.

The United States regularly sends its ships through the Taiwan Strait as part of its so-called freedom of navigation exercises.

A 100-mile-wide strait separates Taiwan from China.

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