The US Navy warship USS Milius has passed through the Taiwan Strait in what officials described as a ‘routine patrol’, but the unusual move comes just days after China ended its latest war drills around the island. There is progress.
In a statement on Monday, the US Navy confirmed the ship’s passage through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday.
China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, officially ended its three-day drills around Taiwan last Monday, where its warships practised mock strikes to block and target the island.
China conducted the drills in response to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Chinese officials see US behaviour on Taiwan as interference in their internal affairs and US support for Taiwan’s separate identity from China.
The USS Milius, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, made a “routine transit” in the Taiwan Strait and passed through waters where navigation and overflight are restricted under international law, the US 7th Fleet said. The supreme maritime freedoms of apply.’
The statement added that the ship’s transit demonstrates America’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
The U.S. Navy transits warships through the strait one time a month and regularly conducts similar freedom of navigation missions in the disputed South China Sea.
On Monday morning, Taiwan’s defence ministry said it had spotted 18 Chinese military aircraft and four naval vessels around Taiwan in the past 24 hours.
China has never abandoned the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control and to govern democratically.
Taiwan’s government has rejected many times China’s territorial claims, saying only the island’s people can decide their own future.