U.S. warship passes through the sensitive Taiwan Strait again by Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: On May 22, 2018, the USS Millius (DDG69) guided-missile destroyer arrived at the U.S. Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan, and joined the Frontline Deployment Naval Force (FDNS). REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

Taipei (Reuters)-On Tuesday, a U.S. warship sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait again. This is part of the so-called routine activities of the U.S. military, but it always angers China. The Chinese government believes that Washington is trying to provoke regional tensions.

The U.S. Navy stated that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Milius conducted a “routine Taiwan Strait transit” in accordance with international law and passed through international waters.

“The passage of this ship through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The U.S. military flies, sails, and moves anywhere permitted by international law,” it added.

China did not immediately respond.

Last month, the Chinese military condemned the United States and Canada for sending their warships through the Taiwan Strait, saying they were threatening peace and stability in the region.

China claims that democratically ruled Taiwan is its own territory, and has carried out air force missions to Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) many times in the past year or so, angering Taipei.

Like most countries, the United States does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but it is Taiwan’s most important international supporter and weapons supplier.

Beijing calls Taiwan the most sensitive and important issue in its relationship with Washington.

U.S. Navy ships pass through the strait approximately every month, which angers Beijing. American allies occasionally send ships through the strait, including Britain in September.

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