Two U.S. Navy vessels sail through Taiwan Strait

A pair of U.S. Navy ships passed through the Taiwan Strait on Monday, in a show of force that's sure to irritate Beijing.

    2018/10/23

NSFW    TAIWAN STRAIT — The Pentagon sent two U.S. ships through the Taiwan Strait, a move that might amp up already tense U.S.-China relations.

CNN reports that on Monday, the USS Curtis Wilbur, a guided missile destroyer, and the USS Antietam, a guided missile cruiser, conducted a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait, to demonstrate 'U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific', according to the deputy spokesman of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The two U.S. Navy warships reportedly sailed from south to north through the 110-mile waterway that separates Taiwan from China.

U.S. Defense officials told CNN that multiple Chinese warships followed the vessels during the transit, but kept at a safe distance.

America's show of force comes amidst an ongoing trade war with Beijing, as well as tensions between the two countries over China's militarization of the South China Sea.

Late last month, a U.S. guided missile destroyer passing near the Spratlys had to maneuver to avoid colliding with a Chinese ship that came within 45 yards of its bow.

China is unhappy with American support of Taiwan, in particular a $330 million arms sale package to the island nation.

While the U.S. officially adheres to Beijing's 'One China Policy', the Trump administration has sought to forge closer ties with Taiwan.
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