US warship passes through Taiwan Strait
According to the US navy, this is the second such passage this year.
According to the US navy, a US warship went through the Taiwan-China strait on Saturday, the second such transit this year.
According to the US Seventh Fleet, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson's transit across the Taiwan Strait was routine.
In a statement, the navy said, "The ship's transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States' commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific," adding that the US will sail, fly, and operate anywhere international law allows.
According to Taiwan's Defense Ministry, it was aware of the US vessel and monitoring the activities near the sea and air, calling the situation "normal".
US warships routinely train on the strait to provoke China.
Two months ago, the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister said the US risks paying an "unbearable price" for its actions regarding Taiwan.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has increased military and diplomatic pressure in the last two years to assert its sovereignty claim, fueling anger in Taipei and concern in Washington.
Taiwan claims "independence" and vows to defend its "freedom" and "democracy", whereas China continues to seek to reinstate the Island in the Republic. "Taiwan has no other way forward other than reunification with the mainland," Wang said.
Warships from the United Kingdom, Canada, France, and Australia have all passed through the Taiwan Strait in recent years, prompting Beijing to protest.
Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, maintains a record of stated US transits across the Taiwan Strait.
Nine were done in 2019, 15 in 2020, and 12 last year. There have been two so far this year, including the USS Ralph Johnson trip.
China frequently cites this point as the most sensitive issue in its relations with the US, knowing that the latter requires by law to provide Taiwan with the means to defend itself and it has long maintained a policy of "strategic ambiguity" on whether it would intervene militarily to protect Taiwan in the event of a "Chinese attack".