Posted 2/26/2022 11:14 am / Updated 2/26/2022 11:20 am
(Credit: US Navy / Internet)
Amid tensions between Beijing and Washington, a U.S. warship crossed the Strait of Taiwan on Saturday, the second Saturday since the beginning of this year, separating the island from mainland China.
The USS 7th Navy said in a statement that the USS Ralph Johnson’s submarine made its “regular” voyage through the strait “in accordance with international maritime and international law.”
Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense has confirmed that a U.S. ship is sailing across the strait, and the island’s military is “fully monitoring its operations … near our water and our airspace, and the situation is normal.”
American ships often pass through the strait, much to the chagrin of China, which considers the island to be part of its territory.
The People’s Republic of China considers foreign navigation in this water to be a violation of its sovereignty, while the United States and other countries consider the area to be an international maritime area, so it is open to all.
The Chinese military described the move as a “provocation” to support Taiwan’s “separatist forces.”
Xi Yi, a spokesman for the Chinese military’s eastern operations, warned in a statement that Chinese troops were “extremely vigilant at all times” to protect China’s sovereignty and security.
Beijing continues to threaten to use force if Taipei’s independence or outside intervention, especially if there is a formal declaration by the United States.