US Navy warships pass through strategic Taiwan Strait image:

Date: 29 Apr 2019

File photo of the guided missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) at the Wusong military port in Shanghai on Nov 16, 2015. (Photo: AFP)

WASHINGTON: The US military said it sent two Navy warships through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday (Apr 28) as the Pentagon increases the frequency of movement through the strategic waterway despite opposition from China.

The voyage risks further raising tensions with China but will likely be viewed by Taiwan as a sign of support from the Trump administration amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing.

Taiwan is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the US-China relationship, which also include a trade war, US sanctions and China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea, where the United States also conducts freedom-of-navigation patrols.

The two destroyers were identified as the William P. Lawrence and Stethem. The 180km-wide Taiwan Strait separates Taiwan from China.    [FULL  STORY]

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