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Amid tensions with China, US confirms destroyers sailed through Taiwan Strait

Amid tensions with China, US confirms destroyers sailed through Taiwan Strait

Amid tensions with China, US confirms destroyers sailed through Taiwan Strait
July 09
08:54 2018

While Taiwan had said a pair of US destroyers had passed through the Taiwan Strait, a US Navy official has confirmed the USS Mustin and the USS Benfold have passed through the strait, the first such incident since July 2017.

Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Charlie Brown called the passage of the ships “a routine transit.”

“US Navy ships transit between the South China Sea and East China Sea via the Taiwan Strait, and have done so for many years,” Brown said.

The move, which several news outlets have reported, comes amid increasing strain between the Trump administration and China over trade, North Korea and the South China Sea.

China has not yet reacted to the rare passage of American warships through the strait.

Last week, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis traveled to Beijing for the first time, becoming the first Pentagon chief to visit China since 2014.

China and Taiwan separated during a civil war in 1949, and Beijing pursues reunification ever since, and Chinese officials have never renounced the use of force to bring under China’s control what it sees as a wayward province.

China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, and almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty under a policy known as “One China.”

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Alexander Ionov

Alexander Ionov

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