Crossing the Taiwan Strait are two US Navy warships

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According to the US Navy, two US warships transited the Taiwan Strait on Sunday for the first time since China conducted unusual military drills near the island. The transit, according to a statement from the US Navy, “demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.” After US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei earlier this month, tensions along the Taiwan Strait reached their maximum height in years.

Beijing launched days-long air and sea drills near Taiwan as a result of the outrage. In order to prepare for an invasion, Taipei denounced missile drills and tests. China, which considers the democratic, independent island to be a part of its territory that will someday be taken, by force if necessary.

Despite de facto relations with Taiwan and support for the island’s right to decide its own future, Washington diplomatically acknowledges Beijing as having superiority over Taipei. USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville, two guided-missile cruisers of the Ticonderoga class, were reportedly in “routine” transit on Sunday “across waters in which liberties of navigation apply” and “overflight on the high seas in accordance with international law.”

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