US warships pass through Taiwan Strait amid China tensions

The United States sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday in the first such operation this year, the Taiwanese government said, as it increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway amid tensions with China.

The voyage risks further heightening tensions with China, which considers Taiwan its own and has not ruled out the use of force to bring the self-ruled island under its control.

Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a statement late on Thursday the ships were moving in a northerly direction and that their voyage was in accordance with regulations.

It said Taiwan closely monitored the operation to “ensure the security of the seas and regional stability”.


FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION: GET ONLY 'FEATURED' STORIES BY EMAIL

Big Tech is using a content filtering system for online censorship. Watch our short video about NewsGuard to learn how they control the narrative for the Lamestream Media and help keep you in the dark. NewsGuard works with Big-Tech to make it harder for you to find certain content they feel is 'missing context' or stories their editors deem "not in your best interest" - regardless of whether they are true and/or factually accurate. They also work with payment processors and ad-networks to cut off revenue streams to publications they rate poorly by their same bias standards. This should be criminal in America. You can bypass this third-world nonsense by signing up for featured stories by email and get the good stuff delivered right to your inbox.
 

The move will likely be viewed in Taiwan as a sign of support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s government amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing.

China has stepped up pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen, from the pro-independence ruling party, took office in 2016. It has regularly sent military aircraft and ships to circle the island on drills in the past few years.

Beijing sent several bombers and aircraft through the Bashi Channel, which separates Taiwan from the Philippines, earlier on Thursday, Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a separate statement.

A similar Chinese operation was conducted on Tuesday, the ministry said, and both were monitored closely.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said in early January China reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control. In response, Tsai vowed to defend the island’s democracy and called for international support to protect Taiwan’s way of life.

Trump recently signed into law the Asia Reassurance Initiative Act reaffirming the U.S. commitment to Taiwan, including arms sales.

Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is its main source of arms.


Comment via Facebook

Corrections: If you are aware of an inaccuracy or would like to report a correction, we would like to know about it. Please consider sending an email to corrections@publishedreporter.com and cite any sources if available. Thank you. (Policy)