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Iran Press TV

US military sails another warship through Taiwan Strait

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 26 March 2020 10:11 AM

The US Navy says one of its warships has sailed through the strategic Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan from China, a provocative move that is certain to anger Beijing.

In a tweet on Thursday, the US Pacific Fleet confirmed that the USS McCampbell, a guided-missile destroyer of the US Seventh Fleet, had passed through the strait on Wednesday.

Anthony Junco, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet, also claimed that the combat vessel had conducted "a routine Taiwan Strait transit March 25 (local time) in accordance with international law."

He further said that the "the US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows."

Taiwan's defense ministry confirmed the transit in a statement, calling the sailing an "ordinary mission" through the sensitive waterway and no cause for alarm.

There was no immediate comment from China, but it is expected to object. While China says it does not oppose the "normal passage" of foreign vessels through the strait, it has censured trips aimed at sending a geopolitical signal.

China has sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan, and under the "One China" policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty, saying the island is part of China's territory awaiting reunification.

The US, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the island but has long courted Taipei in an attempt to counter Beijing.

Washington has no formal diplomatic relations with Taipei by law, but remains the island's largest weapons supplier and an international backer of Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen's government, causing increasing tensions with Beijing over trade and a host of other issues.

The US regularly carries out so-called "freedom of navigation" operations through the narrow strait, angering Beijing, which has never ruled out the use of force to bring the island under its full control.

Meanwhile, Washington and Beijing have also been trading accusations of who has been responsible for the coronavirus pandemic.

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