U.S & Canadian Warships Transit Taiwan Strait Challenging China’s Territorial Claims

A U.S and a Canadian Warship crossed the Taiwan Strait on Saturday as part of the second such Joint Mission since June, said the U.S Navy. This coincides with the G20 Summit held in India, attended by leaders of both nations.

Experts believe it is a move to challenge China’s territorial claims in the region.

U.S & Canadian Warships
Representation Image

The USS Ralph Johnson and the HMCS Ottawa sailed through the narrow waterway that separates China and Taiwan, per the US Navy’s 7th Fleet.

China claims Taiwan to be a part of its territory, which can be reunited by force if needed and saw this transit by the US Navy and its allies as a provocative gesture.

The US Navy released a statement that the ships “transited through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state.”

The U.S Navy further added that the transit of Ralph Johnson and Ottawa through the strategic Taiwan Strait shows the commitment of the U.S and its allies to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

While the U.S warships cross the strait at least once a month in its ‘freedom of navigation’ operations, it is unusual for them to do so with ships of other allies.

This move could be due to China’s growing military activities near Taiwan, such as regularly sending warships and warplanes near the territory.

Also, the U.S released a video in June in which a Chinese Navy vessel can be seen crossing the path of a U.S destroyer, forcing it to slow down to prevent a collision.

Senior Col. Shi Yi, spokesperson for the People Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command, said that China carefully monitored the warships during their transit through the Taiwan Strait. Their forces dealt with the situation per law and established regulations, he added.

References: Reuters, abcnews, usni.org

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