ibusinesslines.com September 20, 2018

Two US destroyers sail into Taiwan Strait: Taiwan gov't

09 July 2018, 06:23 | Erica Roy

Two U.S. Navy ships passed through the Taiwan Strait Saturday

Two U.S. Navy ships passed through the Taiwan Strait Saturday

U.S. Navy movements in the Taiwan Strait are nothing new, though they are rare.

"U.S. Navy ships transit between the South China Sea and East China Sea via the Taiwan Strait and have done so for many years", said Brown.

Two US destroyers, the USS Mustin and the USS Benfold, have passed through the narrow waterway separating mainland China from Taiwan.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory, has criticized the recent attempts by the U-S to strengthen relations with the administration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Washington is "sending political signals by sending warships through the Taiwan Strait", said the Global Times editorial, headline "U.S. psychological game in Taiwan Strait".

Both Taiwan and the US confirmed the ships' passage over the weekend.

Although the US does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, it is its most powerful ally and top arms supplier.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be conquered by force if necessary, has criticized recent USA moves to strengthen relations with the administration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. -China trade fight is seen as dragging on for a potentially prolonged period, as the world's two biggest economies flex their muscles with no sign of negotiations to ease tensions.

US overtures towards Taiwan, from unveiling a new de facto embassy to passing the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages USA officials to visit, have further escalated tension between Beijing and Taipei.

A growing number of worldwide airlines and companies were also forced to change Taiwan's name to "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei" due to pressure from Beijing.

The recent spate of actions by China, including conducting military exercises targeting Taiwan, sending aircraft and warships around Taiwan, and suppressing Taiwan's worldwide space are aimed at coercing Taiwan into accepting China's political terms, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said in a statement. The US Navy has not sailed an aircraft carrier in that area since 2007.

A former Japanese colony, Taiwan split from China amid civil war in 1949 and China cut off relations with Tsai's government after her 2016 inauguration because she refuses to recognize the island as a part of China.

Former Taiwan Vice President Lien Chan, of Taiwan's pro-China and former ruling Nationalist Party, is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing next week.

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