U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait

Image taken from Pixabay

Taiwan's top China policy planner urged Beijing Sunday not to overreact to the recent passage of two U.S. Navy vessels through the Taiwan Strait and not to blame others for its own actions that have disturbed peace and stability in the region.

The USS Mustin and USS Benfold guided-missile destroyers, which are both home-ported at the US naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, were the first such American vessels to pass through the strait since the USS John McCain made the transit in July 2017.

"Two U.S. Navy ships conducted a routine transit through the worldwide waters of the Taiwan Strait on July 7-8 (local time)", said Capt. Charlie Brown, a spokesperson for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The Tsai administration objects to the consensus because it implies that Taiwan is a part of China, something a majority of Taiwanese do not accept.

Flags of Taiwan and U.S. are placed for a meeting between U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce speaks and with Su Chia-chyuan, President of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan March 27, 2018. The last U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to sail the area was in 2007.

China's hostility toward Taiwan has grown since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won presidential elections on the island in 2016.

It has lured away four of Taiwan's diplomatic allies since Tsai came to power, leaving only 18 countries in the world that recognise Taipei over Beijing.

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China has also been angered over recent warming relations between the USA and Taiwan, after Trump signed legislation paving the way for mutual visits by top American officials and the US government green-lighted a license required to sell cutting-edge submarine technology to Taipei.

A growing number of global airlines and companies were also forced to change Taiwan's name to "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei" due to pressure from Beijing.

U.S. Marines usually guard missions in countries with which Washington has formal diplomatic ties.

On April 25, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) ordered 34 airlines to describe Taiwan as part of China on their websites and in their promotional materials.

As a responsible player in the region, Taiwan will continue to deepen cooperation with the USA and other like-minded countries to ensure regional peace and stability, it said.

Reuters first reported last month that the United States was considering sending a warship and had examined plans for an aircraft carrier passage, but ultimately did not pursue that option perhaps because of concerns about upsetting China. "So there'll be no rolling back by China".

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