U.S. warships transit Taiwan Strait, first since Pelosi visit

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (Reuters) – Two U.S. Navy warships sailed through international waters in the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the first operation since a visit to Taiwan by US Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi that infuriated China that regards the island as its territory.

The US Navy, confirming a Reuters report, said the cruisers Chancellorsville and Antietam were conducting the ongoing operation. Such operations usually take eight to 12 hours and are closely monitored by the Chinese military. read more

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

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Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan in early August infuriated China, who saw it as an attempt by the US to interfere in its internal affairs. China then launched military exercises near the island, which have continued ever since. read more

“These (US) ships pass through a corridor in the strait that is outside the territorial sea of ​​any coastal state,” the US Navy said.

The operation demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, and the US military flies, sails and operates wherever international law allows, the Navy said.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the US National Security Council, reiterated that position to CNN, saying the passage of the ships was “highly consistent” with US “one China” policy and the pursuit of “a free and open Indo-Government.” Pacific”.

Kirby added that the surgery was planned a long time ago.

The Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command said it was following the ships and warned them.

“Troops in the theater remain on alert and ready to thwart any provocation at any time,” it added in a statement.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the ships were heading south and its troops were observing, but “the situation was normal”.

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

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan was followed about a week later by a group of five other US lawmakers, to which the Chinese military responded by conducting more exercises near the island.

Senator Marsha Blackburn, a US lawmaker on the Senate Commerce and Armed Forces committees, arrived in Taiwan on Thursday for the third visit by a US dignitary this month, defying pressure from China to halt the trips. read more

The administration of US President Joe Biden has tried to prevent tensions between Washington and Beijing from turning into conflict, reiterating that congressional travel is routine.

The United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is required by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself.

China has never ruled out using force to control Taiwan.

Taiwan says the People’s Republic of China has never ruled the island and thus has no claim to it, and that only Taiwan’s 23 million residents can decide their future.

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Reporting by Idrees Ali; Additional coverage by Ben Blanchard in Taipei, Kevin Yao in Beijing and Jonathan Landay in Washington; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Lisa Shumaker

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Idrees Ali

Thomson Reuters

National security correspondent focused on the Pentagon in Washington DC Reports on US military activities and operations around the world and the impact they have. Has reported from more than two dozen countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan and much of the Middle East, Asia and Europe. From Karachi, Pakistan.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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