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American Warship, Cargo Vessel Pass Through Taiwan Strait Amid US-China Tensions

American Warship, Cargo Vessel Pass Through Taiwan Strait Amid US-China Tensions”

Beijing has called Taiwan "the most important and sensitive issue in the China-U.S. relations" and has bolstered its military presence near the island nation in recent months, sailing its sole operating aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait in January and March previous year and holding large-scale "encirclement" exercises and bomber training throughout 2018.

Two of the United States naval ships has passed through the strategic Taiwan Strait on Monday as the American military are increasing their frequency of movement of their ships through the strategic waterways despite the opposition from China.

"The USS Stethem (DDG 63) and the USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE-14) made a routine transit in the Taiwan Strait on February 25 in accordance with worldwide law. from Taiwan demonstrates the commitment of the United States to a free and open Indo-Pacific, "said spokesman for the US Pacific Fleet, Tim Gorman, quoted by USNI News, a news portal of the US Naval Institute".

The Defense Department "will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere global law allows".

"USS Stethem (DDG 63) and USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE-14) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit on February 25 (local time), in accordance with worldwide law", Lt. Cmdr.

China expressed anger at the move.

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Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a news briefing on Tuesday: "We resolutely oppose the United States taking provocative actions which are not conducive to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait".

The US Navy's passage through the Taiwan Strait also comes just days before a summit between Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Beijing has repeatedly demanded that Washington cut off all military ties with Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a breakaway province to be taken back by force if necessary.

Also, destroyers USS Mustin and USS Benfold sailed through the Taiwan Strait in July 2018.

The United States conducted three such operations through the strait past year, while China has repeatedly sent military aircraft and warships to circle the island on drills and has also worked to peel away the island's last diplomatic allies.

One proposal before the house would mark the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, and the other supports a US-Taiwan free trade agreement.



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