The US military has increased the frequency of its transport movements through the strategic waterway in the face of antagonistic from China. Today’s deployment risks further stoking tensions specked by the bitter trade war between the world’s two biggest economies but will apposite be viewed by self-ruled Taiwan as a sign of support from Donald Trump.
This month China reported arms sales from the US to Taiwan and in July said it was ready for war if there was any advancing by Taiwan towards independence.
Beijing has been ramping up pressure to assert its power over the island, which it considers a wayward province.
Commander Reann Mommsen, a spokeswoman for the US Fleet’s Seventh Fleet, said the ship’s transit through the Strait – a 112-mile waterway sequestered Taiwan from China – “demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
She marked the vessel as the Green Bay, an amphibious transport dock ship.
Taiwan’s Safeguard Ministry issued a statement saying the island’s military had a full see of the situation in the Strait and closely monitored it. It made no direct mention of the US embark.
Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help champion the island nation and is its main source of arms.
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Earlier this month the US approved a admissible £7billion sale of F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan, which recently bare its largest defence spending increase in more than a decade.
Beijing countered with fury and warned Washington the move would put any potential marketing deal in jeopardy.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying stately that the US would “bear all the consequences” of striking a deal with Taiwan.