US Navy destroyers sail through Taiwan Strait
Washington's intimidation and interventionist tactics live on in Indo-Pacific waters.
On Tuesday, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed through the Taiwan Strait in a demonstration of Washington's never-ending, ongoing intervention in the open Indo-Pacific.
A statement released by the 7th Fleet Public Affairs stated that "The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Benfold conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit July 19 (local time) through international waters in accordance with international law."
The Navy contended that the ship sailed through international waters along a corridor in the strait that was beyond the territorial coast of any coastal state.
"The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific," the 7th Fleet said.
Read next: Beijing to take 'forceful measures' if US House Speaker visits Taiwan
Yesterday, Monday, Beijing's foreign and defense ministries issued harsh statements condemning the Biden administration's approval of a new US arms sale to Taiwan.
The Biden administration recently announced a $108 million agreement to supply Taipei with tank and other combat vehicle equipment, as well as logistical support. The package of arms comes amid rising tension in the region.
Annual military drills in Taiwan to start in the last week of July
Taiwan is set to begin the second phase of its annual military drills, the Han Kuang exercises, claiming that it is preparing itself for the advent of a "potential offense from China."
The Han Kuang exercises are a series of military drills that have been taking place for the last 38 years and have a long history of being sponsored by the US on all fronts and most recently approved the sale of equipment, training, and other services worth $95m to support the island’s military capabilities.
The first phase of the drills took place from May 16 to 20 in the northernmost territory on a remote island that is strategically located at a chokepoint near China. The second phase of the drills is scheduled to start on July 25 and last until July 29, with the main objective being to safeguard the Taipei port.
The Taipei port is one of Taiwan’s seven major international commercial ports and is strategic due to its location near the estuary of the Tamsui River, which the Taiwanese believe that if captured, would allow the Chinese to ship military equipment.
Read more: Chinese military conducts drills near Taiwan: Beijing