US Warships Sail Through Taiwan Strait
Umer Jamshaid 4 months ago Tue 23rd October 2018 | 12:00 PM
Two US warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Monday, a military spokesman said, in a move bound to aggravate China amid heightened tensions with Beijing.
Washington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - APP - 23rd Oct, 2018 ) :Two US warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Monday, a military spokesman said, in a move bound to aggravate China amid heightened tensions with Beijing.
The USS Curtis Wilbur and USS Antietam conducted a routine transit to demonstrate US commitment "to a free and open Indo-Pacific," Colonel Rob Manning told reporters.
It was the second time in the space of three months that American warships had conducted so-called "freedom of navigation" exercises in the 180 kilometer wide stretch of water.
Multiple Chinese warships shadowed the two US vessels during the transit, following at a safe distance, defense officials told CNN.
China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified, despite the two sides being ruled separately since the end of a civil war on the mainland in 1949.
The Trump administration has sought closer ties to the island, announcing plans last month to sell it $330 million spare parts for several aircraft including the F-16 fighter and the C-130 cargo plane.
Taiwan's premier William Lai said during a parliamentary session Tuesday that Taiwan respected the US right of passage in international waters and recognised "the various efforts of the US in maintaining peace in the Asia-Pacific Region".
Taiwan's defense ministry had said in an earlier statement that the military was "closely monitoring the US warships during their passage".