The US military said on Wednesday that it has sent a Navy warship through the Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan from China, a move likely to anger Beijing during a period of tense relations between the two.
Taiwan is among a growing number of flashpoints in the US-China relationship, which include a trade war, US sanctions and China’s increasingly muscular posture in the South China Sea, where the US also conducts freedom-of-navigation patrols.
China has warned that it is ready for war if there was any move toward Taiwan’s independence, accusing the US of undermining global stability and denouncing its arms sales to the island. The warship sent to the 112-mile-wide (180-km) Taiwan Strait was identified as the Antietam.
'The (ship’s) transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,' Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, said. 'The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.'