U.S. sails warships through Taiwan Strait in first since Pelosi

The cruisers “transited through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state”, the U.S. Navy statement said

August 28, 2022 10:35 am | Updated 11:38 am IST - Taipei (Taiwan)

File photo of USS Antietam (CG 54), one of the U.S. Navy warships that is conducting the transit through Taiwan Strait.

File photo of USS Antietam (CG 54), one of the U.S. Navy warships that is conducting the transit through Taiwan Strait. | Photo Credit: AP

The U.S. Navy is sailing two warships through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, in the first such transit publicised since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier in August, at a time when tensions have kept the waterway particularly busy.

The USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville are conducting a routine transit, the U.S. 7th Fleet said.

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The cruisers “transited through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state”, the statement said.

China conducted many military exercises in the strait as it sought to punish Taiwan after Pelosi visited the self-ruled island against Beijing's threats.

China has sent many warships sailing in the Taiwan Strait and waters surrounding Taiwan since Pelosi's visit, as well as sending warplanes and firing long-range missiles.

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It views the island as part of its national territory and opposes any visits by foreign governments as recognising Taiwan as its own state.

The U.S. regularly sends its ships through the Taiwan Strait as part of what it calls freedom of navigation maneuvers.

The 100 mile-wide (160 kilometre-wide) Strait divides Taiwan from China.

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