USA destroyers sail through Taiwan Strait

Frederick Owens
Июля 10, 2018

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense confirmed the destroyers had entered the strait from the south, the first such transit for a year.

The Chinese government had no immediately comment.

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.

A defense ministry official told AFP the ships were still in the strait on Saturday night, sailing in what he described as global waters.

The last time a US aircraft carrier transited the Taiwan Strait was in 2007.

U.S. and Taiwanese media say it was the first time in 12 months that a USA warship has passed through the strait.

But, the editorial went on, "Washington will not succeed. The mainland's military strength has improved greatly since the 1996 crisis and is capable of countermeasures to deter Washington and the Taiwan administration from provocations", the Global Times stated.

Warplanes from the Chinese People's Liberation Army, it added "can make adjustments to the distances of their flight paths around Taiwan, cross the "middle line" and even fly over the island if necessary".

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold sails in formation during exercise Malabar 2018 in the Philippine Sea on June 15.

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The name change came in the wake of letters sent by China's Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) in late April, asking the carrier to designate Taiwan as part of China within 30 days.

US support for Taiwan is evident, as the United States continues to sell it military weapons even though it does not have diplomatic relations with the province.

China has been stepping up pressure against Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's government, which it views as pro-independence.

Tsai has criticized China for attempting to change the status quo between the two sides and urged the world to "constrain" its ambitions.

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

The move comes as a U.S.

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said on Saturday the situation was in accordance with regulations.

The objective is to support China's campaign of diplomatic isolation against Taiwan, which includes frequent and increasingly shrill reminders that America can not save the Taiwanese from China's wrath if they pursue an independent course.

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