Tension in Taiwan Strait after China protests passage of US warships

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Map of Taiwan an China, where the US navy has access.

The Chinese defence ministry on Saturday protested against the passage of two US warships through the Taiwan Strait, saying it had closely monitored them and is maintaining a state of high alert.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) also continued to conduct military exercises near the coast of self-ruled democracy Taiwan, which Beijing says is a renegade region to be unified if required by force.

A US warship and a Coast Guard cutter sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Friday, the latest instance of what Washington calls routine operations through the sensitive waterway that separates Taiwan from China.

The passage comes amid a spike in military tensions in the past two years between Taiwan and China, and follows Chinese “assault drills” held near Taiwan last week for which the PLA deployed battle ships and fighter jets.

“The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) and legend-class US Coast Guard National Security Cutter Munro (WMSL 755) conducted routine Taiwan Strait transits August 27 (local time) through international waters in accordance with international law,” Lt Mark Langford, 7th Fleet spokesperson said late on Friday.

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