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2019-11-16 China-Japan-Koreas
U.S. Flexes Naval Muscle in the Taiwan Strait
[Asia Times] Action comes on the eve of Joint Chiefs visit in Japan with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to resolve Tokyo-Seoul spat

For the first time since September, a US warship has transited the Taiwan Strait.

The move by the USS Chancellorsville, a guided-missile cruiser, is likely to irk China, which views the island of Taiwan as a breakaway province, Fox News reported.

“Guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit Nov. 12 (local time) in accordance with international law. The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said Cmdr. Reann Mommsen, spokesperson for the US 7th fleet.

“The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” he added.

The transit comes as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley visits Japan for a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe to help repair diplomatic relations with South Korea after a recent spat over intelligence sharing between Tokyo and Seoul, according to the Fox report shared by Real Clear Defense online.

“All interactions between [Chinese] ships and aircraft were professional and routine” during the transit, a Navy official told Fox News.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper is set to begin on Wednesday a four-nation Asia tour with stops in South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, according to the Pentagon.

The Taiwan Strait transit was the ninth by the US Navy this year. The last one occurred in late September, when the USS Antietam, another guided-missile cruiser conducted a similar transit.
Posted by 3dc 2019-11-16 00:00|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [6460 views ]  Top
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