For some time now, tensions have been growing between Taipei and Beijing just like there have been tensions between the United States and China. However, because the United States is bound by law to offer help to the people of Taiwan when they are in a difficult situation, two Navy warships sailed across the Taiwan Strait yesterday. This is despite the rising opposition from China and will most likely affect the already rocky relationship between the United States and China.
Taiwan, on the other hand, considers this move by the United States government as a sign of support from the country. Over time, it has become one of the flashpoints in the relationship between the United States and China. Sailing across the 112 miles wide Strait, the two Navy ships are Stethem and William P Lawrence.
The commander of the Seventh Fleet, Clay Doss said that sending the ships through the Strait amid the growing opposition from China proves that the United States is committed to an open and free Indo-Pacific. During the transit, according to Doss, the Navy had unprofessional and unsafe interactions with vessels from other countries.
In a statement released to the public, the Defense Ministry in Taiwan said that sailed through the strait facing north. Part of the statement was as follows;
“Having ships from the United States Navy passing through the Taiwan Strait is part of the Indo-Pacific strategy.”
As the ships sailed through the strait, they were closely monitored by the Taiwan armed forces. The Defense Ministry said that nothing extraordinary happened during the transit.
Since China has been trying to assert its sovereignty over Taiwan for a long time, the Chinese government may not be happy with this move by the United States. While it hasn’t released any comment about the passage yet, it recently referred to the passage of French ships through the strait as illegal.