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Two US warships sailed through the Taiwan strait angering China.

Image Credit: US Navy

On Thursday December 31, US warships passed through the Taiwan strait angering China. It is the second time this month that US warships sailed through the Taiwan strait, and the 13th time this year. Two weeks ago, the newest Chinese aircraft carrier, Shandong, passed through the Taiwan strait after a US warship used the passageway. Also, on Thursday, Chinese navy started its three 10-days exercises which will occur simultaneously in the South China Sea.

The US navy said that the guided- missile destroyers USS Curtis Wilbur and USS John S McCain transited through the strait. In response to Chinese anger, the US navy said that it had,

Conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit December 31 in accordance with international law. The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.

US navy

China claimed that the US warships transit through the Taiwan strait was a ‘provocative move’ and that it is simply a ‘show of force’. The Chinese Defense Ministry said,

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army maintains a high level of alert at all times, responds to all threats and provocations at all times and resolutely defends national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Chinese Defense Ministry

China claims that Taiwan is their own territory, and some claim that China will some day invade Taiwan. This has put Taiwan in a constant state of alertness, and has modernized their army. Chinese planes and ships constantly enter Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) and waters. Taiwanese always responded by deploying fighter jets and warships to ward off Chinese military assets off their territory.

This month US approved a $280 million sale of advanced military equipment to Taiwan which has infuriated China, as US shows its support for Taiwan.

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