Two US Navy warships transit through Taiwan Strait: Statement
Amid rising tensions with China, two US Navy warships enter the Taiwan Strait despite repeated warnings from Beijing.
The US navy said that two of its warships have entered the Taiwan Strait, the first such transit since tensions rose between the US and China over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan.
The guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville set sail on Sunday "through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law," according to the US 7th Fleet in Japan.
In a statement, the US Navy claimed that the transit "demonstrates the United States' commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific."
" The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows," it added.
This is happening just one day after Tennessee Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn visited Taiwan from August 25 to 27, as per Xinhua.
Simultaneously, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that China strongly opposes a US lawmaker's visit to Taiwan.
Responding to a media query, the spokesperson stated that the US legislator's visit to Taiwan violates the One-China policy and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués, as well as the US commitment to maintain only non-official ties with Taiwan.
Beijing regards Taiwan as its sovereign territory and promises that it will eventually be reintegrated with the mainland under the "one country, two systems" model. Taiwan has been governed independently since breaking away from mainland China in 1949.
Although the US officially claims to support the One China Policy, it has long maintained unofficial relations with Taipei, including the supply of arms to the island.
Read next: Xi asked Biden to prevent Pelosi from visiting Taiwan, Biden refused
China carried out fresh military drills around Taiwan, Beijing said, days after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative visit to the island, which escalated tensions between the two powers.
Pelosi's visit led China to announce ending cooperation with the United States on several issues, such as climate change, anti-drug efforts, and military talks.
China announced new military maneuvers surrounding Taiwan in response to another visit to the island by a team of US politicians who met with Taipei's leader only weeks after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's provocative trip.
The secret two-day visit came as Beijing launched warships, missiles, and fighter jets into the waters and skies surrounding Taiwan.
Read next: China announces military drills near Taiwan as US delegation arrives