First US warship transits Taiwan Strait since Biden inauguration

TAIPEI: A US warship sailed by means of the Taiwan Strait on Thursday (Feb 4), the American navy stated, within the first such voyage since the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer carried out a routine transit by means of the waterway separating China and Taiwan, the US Seventh Fleet stated in an announcement.

US warships periodically conduct navigation workout routines within the strait, usually triggering indignant responses from China which claims self-ruled Taiwan as a part of its territory.

READ: Taiwan reports large incursion by Chinese air force

Beijing views any ships passing by means of the strait as basically a breach of its sovereignty – whereas the US and plenty of different nations view the route as worldwide waters open to all.

READ: US reaffirms Taiwan support after China sends warplanes

READ: China toughens language, warns Taiwan that independence ‘means war’

The voyage by the USS John S McCain “demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”, the Seventh Fleet assertion stated.

“The United States military will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

Taiwan’s defence ministry confirmed the journey with out figuring out the vessel.

READ: US says Taiwan military budget boost insufficient for ‘resilient defence’

The transit comes after two US reconnaissance planes and one jet tanker flew close to Taiwan’s airspace on Monday, in keeping with the ministry, which didn’t disclose their routes.

China has stepped up navy, diplomatic and financial stress on Taiwan since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, as she refuses to acknowledge Beijing’s stance that the island is a part of “one China”.

Last 12 months Chinese navy jets made a file 380 incursions into Taiwan’s defence zone, with some analysts warning that tensions between the 2 sides had been at their highest since the mid-Nineties.

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