US Navy takes Taiwan outing

China | REUTERS 30 Nov 2018

The United States sent two navy ships through the Taiwan Strait for a third time this year despite opposition from Beijing.

The voyage risked further heightening tensions with the mainland but was likely be viewed in Taiwan as a sign of support from President Donald Trump's government amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing.

"The ships' transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific," the US Pacific Fleet command declared. "The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows."

The passage was carried out by the destroyer Stockdale and supply vessel the Pecos.

Taiwan Defense Ministry officials said it was a normal transit through international waters in the Taiwan Strait and its forces had monitored the passage.

But Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing had expressed its concerns about the passage to the United States along with a plea for Washington to avoid "damaging the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and China-US relations."

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