Two US Navy warships have passed through the Taiwan Strait in the third such operation this year, as the US military increases the frequency of transits through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.
“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” US Pacific Fleet said in a statement. “The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”
It said the passage was carried out by Stockdale destroyer and Pecos, a replenishment vessel.
The US passage risks increasing already high tensions with China but will likely be viewed in self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from US President Donald Trump’s government amid growing friction between Beijing and Taipei.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said it was a normal transit through international waters in the Taiwan Strait and that Taiwanese forces had monitored the passage of the…