The US military can operate anywhere in accordance with international law

The US military can operate anywhere in accordance with international law

 The US Navy said the guided-missile cruisers USS Chancellorsville and USS Antietam were now conducting routine operations or 'transits' in the Taiwan Strait. The operations usually take eight to 12 hours to complete and are closely monitored by the Chinese military. Two US Navy warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday (28/8). This is the first operation since the visit of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to provoke a strong reaction from China, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory. 

The US Navy said the two warships that arrived in Taiwan demonstrate the United States' commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. This means that the US military can operate anywhere in accordance with international law. "These ships are transiting through corridors in straits that are outside the territorial sea of   any coastal state," the US Navy said. US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the ships' voyage was "very consistent" with the "one-China" policy and upholding the "Indo-Pacific" agreement that promotes freedom and openness. According to him, the operation had been planned for a long time. 

On the other hand, China's Military Eastern Theater Command said it followed the ships and warned them. "The forces in the theater remain on high alert and are ready to thwart any provocation at any time," he added in a statement. Taiwan's Ministry of Defense said the ships were sailing southward and that its forces were observing but "the situation is as usual". Previously, US Members of Parliament returned to visit Taiwan on Thursday (25/8). 

This is the third visit by US officials to Taiwan to provoke a Chinese reaction. The United States has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but is bound by law to provide the island with the means to defend itself. The administration of US President Joe Biden has sought to keep tensions between Washington and Beijing from becoming a conflict, reaffirming that congressional trips are routine.

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