USA destroyers sail through Taiwan Strait

An undated

An undated

The transit of American warships through the Strait are always sensitive because of China's claims over Taiwan, which it regards as a breakaway province.

The ministry in a news release said that the Republic of China Navy monitored the passage of the two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in accordance with regulations.

The US warships entered the Taiwan Strait on Saturday and were still in the waterway as of Saturday night, Taiwan's defense ministry reported.

The possibility of such a move had been mooted in statements by USA officials in early June.

Although the US does not have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, it is its most powerful ally and top arms supplier.

While the US and China cooperate in denculearizing North Korea, there are tensions between the two countries over China's growing military presence on man-made islands in the South China Sea.

"Taiwan is a key "core interest" of Beijing and recently we see more strident resistance voiced out in Chinese state media against perceived USA moves to undermine such interest", Koh said.

"The US is aggravating Taiwan Strait tensions", state-controlled Chinese tabloid The Global Times, which is run by the People's Daily, said on Twitter. Taiwan has shown no interest in being governed by the ruling Communist Party in Beijing.

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The move comes as a U.S. The last U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to sail the area was in 2007.

USA overtures towards Taiwan, from unveiling a new de facto embassy to passing the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages US officials to visit, have further escalated tension between Beijing and Taipei.

A growing number of worldwide airlines and companies were also forced to change Taiwan's name to "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei" due to pressure from Beijing.

The US also continues to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan to aid in its defense as part of the requirements under the Taiwan Relations Act, actions that are met with condemnation from Beijing.

China has boosted its own military presence in the region, sailing its own aircraft carrier through the strait in January.

In recent months, China's air force has held military maneuvers near the island, which Taipei has called intimidation.

China's hostility toward Taiwan has grown since the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, a member of the island's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.

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