The US Navy sent two ships to pass through the Taiwan Strait amid China’s military presence in the contested region.
The “routine” Monday maneuver was in accordance with international law and involved a guided-missile destroyer and a cargo ship, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said the spokesman. “The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”
As of late, China has escalated its “One China” rhetoric that deems Taiwan a breakaway province.
China has recently made efforts to diminish Taiwan’s sovereignty through unconventional means; specifically, a Chinese social media site was able to get fast food titan McDonald’s to apologize for a commercial that depicted Taiwan as its own nation in January.
And in July, China was successful in getting major U.S. airlines to change how they listed Taiwan as an independent country on their booking websites.
Additionally, this maneuver comes on heels of Taiwan’s classified surface-to-air missiles being revealed to the public by Google maps in an incident officially deemed an “accident.”
As of this writing, it is unknown how this Navy exercise will impact the months-long trade deal between America and China that is reportedly drawing to a close.