US sails warships through Taiwan Strait in 1st since Pelosi
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The U.S. Navy sailed two warships through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the first public crossing since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in early August, when tensions kept the waterway particularly busy. .
USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville are making routine transits, the US 7th Fleet said. The cruisers “passed a corridor in the strait that extends beyond the territorial waters of any coastal state,” the statement said.
After Pelosi visited the self-governing island to counter threats from Beijing, China conducted multiple military exercises in the strait in an attempt to punish Taiwan.
Since Pelosi’s visit to China, China has sent a number of warships to sail in the Taiwan Strait and the waters surrounding Taiwan, as well as fighter jets and long-range missiles. It considers Taiwan to be part of its national territory and opposes any foreign government visit that recognizes Taiwan as its own.
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 (160-kilometer-wide) strait separates Taiwan from China.