Two United States Navy warships have entered the Taiwan Strait in what is the main US maritime travel in the stream since US-China strains spiked for the current month over a visit to the island by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The directed rocket cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville were on Sunday making the journey “through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law,” the US Seventh Fleet in Japan said in a statement.
“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,” according to the statement.
John Kirby, a representative for the National Security Council, said on Sunday that the two US Navy warships traveling the Taiwan Strait sent a “very clear” and “very consistent” message that “the United States military will sail, fly and operate wherever international law permits us to do so.”
The Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command said it was observing the two boats, staying vigilant, and was “ready to thwart any provocation.”
The strait is a 110-mile stretch of water that isolates the democratic self-managed island of Taiwan from the mainland of China-China-China. Beijing claims dominion over Taiwan regardless of China’s ruling Communist Party never having controlled the island – and thinks about the waterway as part of its “internal waters.”
However, the U.S. navy expresses the majority of the waterway is in international waters.
The Navy refers to an international regulation that characterizes territorial waters as spanning 12 nautical miles from a nation’s shore and routinely sends its warships through the waterway in what it calls freedom of navigation tasks, including current ventures by the guided rocket destroyers USS Benfold and USS Port Royal. However, those travels drew furious reactions from Beijing.
“The frequent provocations and showing-off by the US fully demonstrate that the US is the destroyer of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the creator of security risks in the Taiwan Strait,” Col. Shi Yi, a representative for the People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command, said after the Benfold’s transit on July 19.
Beijing has buffed up military activity in the waterway – and the skies above it – following the visit by Pelosi to the island recently.
Promptly after Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on August 2, the PLA reported four days of military practices in six zones surrounding the island. The moves included sending off long-range rockets into waters around Taiwan, various Chinese warships steaming in the Taiwan Strait, and many PLA warplanes penetrating the median line which is the halfway point between the central area of China and Taiwan that Beijing says it doesn’t recognize.
Since those activities were formally concluded, PLA warplanes have persisted in crossing the median line every day, normally in double-digit numbers, as per Taiwan’s Defense Ministry. From August 8, the remainder of the four days of drills reported the night Pelosi arrived in Taiwan, through August 22, somewhere in the range of 5 and 21 PLA airplanes crossed the median line every day.
In July, the month before Pelosi’s excursion, Chinese warplanes crossed the median line only once, with an unknown number of planes, as per Taiwan’s Defense Ministry. Moreover, Taiwan reports somewhere in the range of 5 and 14 PLA warships have been found in the waters around Taiwan.
The PLA’s activities have been continuing this week, a piece of what is typically a bustling season for Chinese drills. China’s Eastern Theater Command said on Friday it had led “joint combat-readiness security patrols and combat training exercises involving troops of multiple services and arms in the waters and airspace” around Taiwan.
That declaration came after U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, became the most recent individual from Congress to visit Taiwan opposing tension from Beijing, saying, “I will not be bullied by Communist China into turning my back on the island.” – Seriously, are these people trying to pull us all into war?
In tweets Friday morning, the US senator, who doesn’t represent the Biden organization, repeated her support for Taiwan saying that she refuses to grovel to the Chinese Communist Party and in another tweet, she wrote: “I will continue to stand with the Taiwanese and their right to freedom and democracy. Xi Jinping doesn’t scare me,” referring to the leader of China.
This story syndicated with permission from Omar, Author at Trending Politics
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