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giftedviz.com September 24, 2018


US warships passed through the Taiwan Strait, officials say

10 July 2018, 05:57 | Darnell Patrick

An undated

An undated

On Wednesday, the carrier changed the name of Taiwan to Chinese Taipei on its website, following advice from India's government.

There were even threats about how U.S. Navy ships could find themselves "sandwiched" between Chinese naval and air power in the Taiwan Strait, a scenario that few Chinese pilots or naval commanders are eager to test in practice.

The last time a USA aircraft carrier transited the Taiwan Strait was in 2007.

In its editorial, headlined "U.S. psychological game in Taiwan Strait", the Global Times said that Washington had decided on "a more discreet approach" by sending destroyers and not conducting drills.

The statement said the Taiwanese military had monitored the transit of the the two warships that had entered the southern part of the Strait and sailed in a northeasterly direction. Global media has linked the passage with Sino-U.S. tensions aggravated by the ongoing trade war, while observers are concerned whether these tensions would spread to other fields.

The two ships were identified as the guided-missile destroyers USS Mustin and USS Benfold, both based out of Japan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis discussed the delicate issue of Taiwan during his trip to China last month.

China's hostility toward Taiwan has grown since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won presidential elections on the island in 2016.

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Tsai has criticised China for attempting to change the status quo between the two sides and urged the world to "constrain" its ambitions.

Beijing is also incensed by the recent warming relations between the USA and Taiwan, after President Trump signed legislation paving the way for mutual visits by top officials and the United States government approved a licence required to sell submarine technology to Taiwan.

U.S. Marines usually guard missions in countries with which Washington has formal diplomatic ties.

Earlier on Saturday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry said the ships were moving in a northeastern direction, adding that the situation was in accordance with regulations.

"This is not just Taiwan's challenge, it is a challenge for the region and the world as a whole, because today it's Taiwan, but tomorrow it may be any other country that will have to face the expansion of China's influence", Tsai told AFP. One of the proposals that is reportedly under consideration is a port call by a U.S. Navy vessel to Kaohsiung.

Chen also said the tariff dispute between China and the United States is a prelude to more "strategic competition" between the two rivals. "So there'll be no rolling back by China".

The warships' entry into the strait comes as Washington and Beijing are locked in a trade war and as tensions escalate between Beijing and Taipei. "We won't accept that", Liu said.

China and Taiwan have been governed separately since the end of the Chinese Civil War.



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