Two U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait

Blanche Robertson
October 22, 2018

WASHINGTON-Two U.S. warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait, U.S. and Taiwan defense officials said Monday, a maneuver meant to signal to China that the U.S. could travel in any global waters.

"USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) and USS Antietam (CG 54) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait Transit on October 22, in accordance with global law", Cmdr. "The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere global law allows".

While a US Pacific Fleet representative claimed that the ship's journey "demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific", Taiwanese officials claimed that the island's defense ministry was in full control of the situation and "has the ability to maintain the security of the seas".

Taiwan's military is fully aware of the passage of the USA vessels, and is capable of defending its maritime territory and airspace security, the statement said.

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"USS Curtis Wilbur and USS Antietam conducted a routine Taiwan Strait Transit on October 22, in accordance with worldwide law", Cmdr.

"The Ministry of National Defense pointed out that the USA ship routinely passed the global waters of the Taiwan Strait, and the relevant details were explained by the United States government", it added. The U.S. Navy conducted a similar operation in July, sending the destroyers USS Mustin and USS Benfold through the tense waterway.

The United States, along with many other countries, does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and officially sticks to the "One China" policy. The U.S. continues to sell military weapons to the island nation even though it does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Beijing perceives Taiwan as a breakaway province and has threatened to take military action if Taiwan attempts to declare independence.

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