First Transit Of Taiwan Strait By U.S. Warships Since Pelosi Visited Taiwan
TAIPEI - The USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) transited the Taiwan Strait This Morning, August 28th. This is the first transit of the Taiwan Strait International Waters since Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, causing a frenzy of live-fire exercises from mainland China in protest.
According to Reuters, The United States Navy confirmed that the two Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers, of the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations, were carrying out the operation of navigating the twelve-hour transit of the Taiwan Strait, which is being monitored by the Chinese military very closely.
Previous transits have been conducted by the United States, the United Kingdom, and others, on a routine basis, but halted following Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, in early August. This was the visit that China declared violated their One-China policy and does not recognize an independent Taiwan.
As the world watched in anticipation of China's reaction, it came as live-fire exercises around the waters of the island, which are still ongoing.
As reported by Donald Standeford of The Standeford Journal, There have been a total of 722 Chinese military aircraft and 160 People's Liberation Army Navy vessels spotted around Taiwan as of August 28th, with occurrences happening daily, beginning on August 6th, following Nancy Pelosi's visit.
The United States Navy made a statement regarding the two ships' legality of transiting waters within international maritime law:
"These (U.S.) ships transited through a corridor in the strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state,..."
U.S. National Security Council Spokesman, John Kirby stated that this operation was planned long ago, and was not in violation of China's One-China Policy.
According to Reuters, The Chinese military's Eastern Theatre Command sent their own ships that gave warnings and followed the two U.S. cruisers through the strait, then issued this statement:
"Troops in the theater remain on high alert and are ready to thwart any provocation at any time,..."
On the third visit to Taiwan of US officials, United States Senator Marsha Blackburn, who is on the Senate Commerce and Armed Services Committee, met with the Taiwan officials in defiance of Chinese disapproval.
"Taiwan is our strongest partner in the Indo-Pacific Region. Regular high-level visits to Taipei are long-standing U.S. policy,... I will not be bullied by Communist China into turning my back on the island." - U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn of TN, USA
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