According to the US Navy, two US warships are now sailing through the Taiwan Strait as military tensions between China and Taiwan continue.
Since tensions between Taiwan and China increased as a result of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this month, this is the first time US warships have participated in a maritime operation.
In response to the visit, China held significant military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, which it said were prompted by US meddling in Chinese internal affairs.
Even though China hasn’t ruled Taiwan in 70 years, Beijing argues that the island is a fundamental part of its territory and considers such activities as provocative.
The US Navy said in a statement on Sunday August 28 that the transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrated the “United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
“These ships transited through a corridor in the strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state,” the statement added.
Taiwan’s defence ministry said the ships were sailing in a southerly direction and that its forces were observing, but that “the situation was as normal”.
On Sunday, the Chinese military responded saying it was monitoring the two vessels’ progress, maintaining a high alert, and was ready to defeat any provocation, Reuters news agency reports.