US, Canadian warships sail through Taiwan Strait
Beijing, Sep 21 (EFE).- Two warships belonging to the United States and Canada have sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the second activity of its kind carried out by the US in a month.
Taiwan’s defense ministry confirmed in a statement Tuesday the passage of the ships on Monday and said that the situation was “normal”” while the US guided-missile destroyer and the Canadian Halifax-class frigate sailed north through the strait.
The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said the USS Higgins and the HMCS Vancouver “conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit Sept. 20 (local time) through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law.”
The last time a joint sailing took place between these navies was in October last year, in an activity then described by the Chinese military as dangerous for peace and stability.
This operation came just a day after US President Joe Biden said in an interview with CBS that Washington would defend Taiwan in the event of “an unprecedented attack” by China.
At the beginning of August, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi paid a fleeting visit to Taipei despite previous warnings from Beijing, unleashing a crisis in the strait to which China responded with military maneuvers around the island.
China’s war games with live fire drills and the launch of long-range missiles in the strait were described by the Taiwanese government as irresponsible, and stoked concern within the international community.
The reaction of the mainland did not prevent two US destroyers from making a transit through the same waters three weeks ago, further raising tensions between Washington and Beijing.
Since Pelosi’s trip, several delegations of US politicians and officials have visited Taipei. Some Canadian parliamentarians have also announced their intentions to travel to the island next month.
China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which it considers a rebel province with which it has not ruled out the use of force to achieve “reunification.” EFE