U.S. warships sail through Taiwan Strait

Two U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait

Two U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirmed Monday evening that two US warships are moving northward from Eluanbi through Taiwan Strait on October 22.

"USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) and USS Antietam (CG 54) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait Transit on October 22, in accordance with worldwide law".

"The ships' transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the USA commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific", he added.

The warships passed through Taiwan Strait as the US military increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.

The ships sailed from south to north along the waterway separating mainland China from Taiwan, according to a CNN report.

Taiwan late on Monday requested that China refrain from interfering in its elections, saying that Beijing should respect and learn from its democracy.




Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning told reporters that the USS Curtis Wilbur and the USS Antietam conducted what he described as a "routine transit" to demonstrate the United States; commitment to "a free and open Indo-Pacific".

"The DOD will continue to fly, sail, and operate wherever worldwide law permits", said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning.

This came after the Chinese military conducted large-scale military exercises in the Taiwan Strait in April.

Taiwan's defence ministry said in an earlier statement the military was "closely monitoring the U.S. warships during their passage". The U.S. acknowledges China's stance but provides Taiwan with defense equipment and opposes reunification by force. The U.S. has also accused China of engaging in cyberattacks against the U.S. government and businesses. Beijing regards Taiwan as a breakaway province to be taken back, by force if necessary.

Taiwan's relations with China have deteriorated since the island's President Tsai Ing-wen from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party swept to power in 2016. The U.S. continues to sell military weapons to the island nation even though it does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

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