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U.S. Sails Warships Through Taiwan Strait In 1st Since Pelosi Visit

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) The U.S. Navy sailed two warships through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, in the initial such transit publicized since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier in August, at the same time when tensions have kept the waterway particularly busy.

The USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville are conducting a routine transit, the U.S. 7th Fleet said. The cruisers transited by way of a corridor in the Strait that’s beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State, the statement said.

China conducted many military exercises in the strait since it sought to punish Taiwan after Pelosi visited the self-ruled island against Beijing’s threats.

China has sent many warships sailing in the Taiwan Strait and waters surrounding Taiwan since Pelosi’s visit, along with sending warplanes and firing long-range missiles. It views the island within its national territory and opposes any visits by foreign governments as recognizing Taiwan as its state.

China said it tracked the movement of the ships. Troops of the (Eastern) Theater Command are on high alert and prepared to foil any provocation anytime,” said senior Col. Shi Yi, spokesperson for individuals Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, speaking on CNN on Sunday, said the transit sent an extremely clear message, very consistent message … that america Navy, america military will sail, fly and operate wherever international law permits us to take action.”

Kirby also noted the transit was very in keeping with our One China policy, very in keeping with our need to ensure that we can continue steadily to work toward a free of charge and open Indo-Pacific.

The U.S. regularly sends its ships through the Taiwan Strait within what it calls freedom of navigation maneuvers.

The 100 mile-wide (160 kilometer-wide) strait divides Taiwan from China.

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