U.S. sends two warships through Taiwan Strait

U.S. sends two warships through Taiwan Strait

U.S. sends two warships through Taiwan Strait

China's state-run media slammed Washington for playing a "psychological game" after two U.S. Navy destroyers sailed through the Taiwan Strait over the weekend.

The ministry, in a statement Saturday, identified the ships entering the 110-mile strait between mainland China and Taiwan as the Yokosuka, Japan-based destroyers USS Mustin and USS Benfold.

One notable U.S. Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait was in 2007, during the administration of George W. Bush.

Beijing claims Taiwan as its own and has never renounced using force to bring, what it views, a wayward province under its control.

Collin Koh, a specialist in regional naval affairs at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the warships' transit was likely a message from the US that it continues to support Taiwan.

Although the United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it is its most powerful ally and biggest arms supplier.

"The US is sending political signals by sending warships through the Taiwan Straits", the article read.

China's hostility toward Taiwan has grown since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the island's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. China has requested all global airlines to respect the "One China" policy and change the way Taiwan is described on their websites and marketing portals.

Tsai has criticised China for attempting to change the status quo between the two sides and urged the world to "constrain" its ambitions. Reuters news service reported last month that Washington had examined plans for an aircraft carrier passage once this year, but ultimately did not pursue them, perhaps because of concerns about upsetting China.

It recently granted a license for United States companies to sell submarine technology to Taiwan.

They "contribute to regional peace and stability", he said in response to questions at a farewell press conference, adding, "We will continue to do that in the future".

The United States has not recognized Taiwan as an independent state. "So there'll be no rolling back by China".

The move comes amid the tension between the Washington and Beijing over the trade tariffs and North Korea issue. "We won't accept that", Liu said.

China has alarmed Taiwan by ramping up military exercises this year, including flying bombers and other military aircraft around the island and sending its carrier through the narrow Taiwan Strait separating it from Taiwan.

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