US destroyers sail into Taiwan Strait: Taiwan gov't

08 July, 2018, 15:04 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Lien Chan has met Xi Jinping on several occasions

The Taiwanese defense ministry said in a statement the two ships, the USS Mustin and USS Benfold, entered the waterway Saturday morning, AFP reported.

Taiwan, which has grown closer to the USA under the Trump administration, said that its military "is monitoring the situation in neighbouring areas, and has the confidence and abilities to maintain regional stability and defend national security".

An Indian official source on July 7 told Indian media that the name change made by Air India about Taiwan did not relate to the "One China" policy and that it was in alignment with global practices, reported the Times of India.

China maintains Taiwan is a breakaway province and not an independent nation.

The passage of USA military vessels through the Strait and the USS Ronald Reagan previously patrolling the South China Sea are strategic preventive actions adopted by the U.S. under its Indo-Pacific strategy, an anonymous source familiar with the matter said.

USA officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the destroyers Mustin and Benfold carried out the passage. The last U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to sail the area was in 2007. China regularly says Taiwan is the most sensitive issue in its ties with the United States.

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The communist government in Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province that must be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

Although the USA does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, it is its most powerful ally and top arms supplier.

US support for Taiwan is evident, as the Unites States continues to sell it military weapons even though it does not have diplomatic relations with the province.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) promptly requested the proper name to be restored and urged other countries to resist any intervention from China over Taiwan's sovereignty issue.

"These days, Taiwan has been under quite a bit of pressure from China- the snatching of multiple countries from Taiwan's already paltry pool of formal diplomatic allies within a short span of time, regular aerial and naval 'island patrols, ' even cyberattacks on the island", Koh said.

Former Taiwan Vice President Lien Chan, of Taiwan's pro-China and former ruling Nationalist Party, is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing next week.

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