U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait

Two U.S. Navy ships passed through the Taiwan Strait Saturday

Two U.S. Navy ships passed through the Taiwan Strait Saturday

This comes after two U-S warships passed through the strait on Saturday.

Against the backdrop of tense cross-strait relations and U.S. -Sino relations strained by trade issues, the U.S. Navy sailed two of its Arleigh-Burke guided missile destroyers through the strait over the weekend, which it said was a routine voyage that has been carried out for many years.

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.

Those include the opening of a new office complex for the American Institute in Taiwan, which operates as Washington's de facto embassy on the island in the absence of formal diplomatic ties that were cut when the USA switched recognition to China in 1949.

The US warships entered the Taiwan Strait on Saturday and were still in the waterway as of Saturday night, Taiwan's defense ministry reported.

Both Taiwan and the USA confirmed the ships' passage over the weekend.

China has claimed that Taiwan is part of the country, while Taiwan views itself as an independent nation.

The communist government in Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province that must be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

The last time a United States. aircraft carrier passed through the Taiwan Strait was when the USS Kitty Hawk transited it in 2007.

China has alarmed Taiwan by ramping up military exercises this year, including flying bombers and other military aircraft around the island and sending its carrier through the narrow Taiwan Strait separating it from Taiwan.

The U.S. State Department has also reportedly requested the deployment of a detachment of marines to help safeguard new facilities of the American Institute in Taiwan, Washington's de facto consulate in lieu of formal diplomatic ties, in Taipei.

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.

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