China Warns US Over Warships Sailing Through Taiwan Straits
China’s military says it remains on high alert as two United States warships sailed through the Taiwan Straits.
In a statement on Sunday, the Eastern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army spokesperson, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, said they are ready to thwart any provocations.
The US cruisers Chancellorsville and Antietam sailed through the Taiwan Straits on Sunday.
Shi said the theatre command has tracked and monitored the entire passage of the ships and has everything under control.
The transit was the first such operation of the US Navy since China’s military conducted drills around the island of Taiwan.
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The military drills were conducted in response to a visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this month despite strong opposition from Beijing.
The Taiwan Strait is a 180-kilometre-wide strait separating the island of Taiwan and continental Asia.
The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to the East China Sea to the north.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Sunday, the US 7th Fleet in Japan said the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville were on Sunday making the voyage “through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law.”
It said the transit was “ongoing” and that there had been “no interference from foreign military forces so far.” It said:
These ships (are transiting) through a corridor in the strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state.
The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows.