Washington - The United States sent two Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday in the third such operation this year, as the U.S. military increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.
The voyage risks further raising tension with China but will likely be viewed in self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s government amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing. “The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement.
“The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.” It said the passage was carried out by the destroyer USS Stockdale and the Pecos, a replenishment vessel. Taiwan’s defense ministry said it was a normal transit through international waters in the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan forces had monitored the passage of the ships.