Published: Tue, January 21, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

U.S. warship sails near Taiwan Strait

U.S. warship sails near Taiwan Strait

On Thursday, the Taiwanese Ministry of National Defence announced the US Navy's trip through the strait.

"People can rest easy", it added.

China claims the self-governed Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to bring the island under its control, by force if necessary.

A United States warship has sailed through the Taiwan Strait, mainland and Taipei officials said Friday, the first such passage since the island resoundingly re-elected its independence-leaning president.

The U.S. Navy said that the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, USS Shiloh, had completed a cross-strait transit, with no details.

Ms Tsai was re-elected Taiwan's President by a landslide last Saturday in a victory that signalled strong support for her tough stance against China.

Other exercises earlier in the week featured Taiwan's air force, which is undergoing a major upgrade with the acquisition of the latest version of US F-16 fighters and other advanced technology. The USS Shiloh, a US ship equipped with missiles, passing through this sea area is considered as no less than a warning to China.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Friday that its military closely followed and monitored a USA warship that sailed through the Taiwan Strait and urged Washington to abide by the one-China principle.

The US has been conducting sporadic missions through the strait in the last two years.

Despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties, United States law requires Washington to ensure Taiwan has the means to defend itself.

The sail-by comes after Tsai Ing-wen won a second term as president in weekend elections with an increased majority. If the US-China relationship recovers - as could be the case this week's trade deal - or Trump wants to do a favor for his "friend" Xi, that engagement could weaken.

"Some use the cover of friendship to dominate and manipulate; promising mutual benefit but instead delivering extortion; exporting problems rather than solutions".

Christensen said the United States this year will seek to further Taiwan's engagement in the world, something the island has found hard due to China blocking Taiwan's participation in most global organisations.

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