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Iran Press TV

Third US warship under Biden sails through Taiwan Strait

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 11 March 2021 10:48 AM

A US warship has sailed through the strategically-sensitive Taiwan Strait, which separates self-ruled Taiwan from mainland China, the US navy says, a day after a top American commander warned of an alleged threat to Taiwan from China "in the next six years."

In a statement on Thursday, the US Seventh Fleet said that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn had conducted a "routine transit" through the waterway on Wednesday.

It was the third such provocative voyage since US President Joe Biden assumed office in January. The statement claimed it "demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific."

American warships periodically carry out such voyages through the strait, often drawing angry responses from China, which has sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan.

Under the "One China" policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty.

The US, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty over the island, but in an attempted affront to China and in violation of its own official policy, America constantly sells weapons to the island, bypassing Beijing, and avidly backs its secessionist president Tsai Ing-wen, besides the deployment of military vessels to the Taiwan Strait.

Beijing, which has repeatedly warned the US against official ties with Taiwan, says the US contacts with Taiwan and the weapon sales to the island are a violation of China's sovereignty.

The Wednesday transit came on the same day that the Chinese government hit back at Admiral Philip Davidson, the top US military officer in Asia-Pacific, for attempting to "hype up" tensions.

On Tuesday and at a Senate committee hearing, Davidson had warned that the US was losing its military edge to China in the Pacific, giving a stark assessment that he believed an invasion of Taiwan by Beijing could be imminent.

"I worry that they're accelerating their ambitions to supplant the United States and our leadership role in the rules-based international order… by 2050," Davidson said, adding, "Taiwan is clearly one of their ambitions before that."

He said he suspected that the so-called threat of invasion would manifest itself during the current decade, "in fact, in the next six years."

Early into his presidency, Biden has displayed a willingness to continue America's typically hostile posture toward China, including by challenging Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan and in areas in the South and East China Seas, where some regional countries dispute Chinese territorial claims.

In just one week after he took office, Biden underscored support for Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan through multiple calls and statements.

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