U.S. Navy in the Taiwan Straits, Again
Aug. 28, 2022 (EIRNS)—For the first time since Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s ill-advised Aug. 3 trip to Taiwan, the U.S. Navy sent ships through the Taiwan Strait earlier today. The two ships were the guided missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville, which apparently entered the Strait at about 1 a.m. EDT (noon China Standard Time). The U.S. 7th Fleet called it “a routine Taiwan Strait transit.”
The Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said on Aug. 28 that it is on high alert and ready to thwart any provocation as two U.S. warships sailed through the Taiwan Straits on the same day, reported CGTN. The PLA Eastern Theater Command has followed and closely monitored the warships, Senior Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson of the theater command, said in a statement.
CNN played up the U.S. right to be there, by quoting Kurt Campbell, U.S. President Joe Biden’s coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, from what he told reporters at the White House on Aug. 12, “We’ll continue to fly, sail, and operate where international law allows, consistent with our longstanding commitment to freedom of navigation, and that includes conducting standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait in the next few weeks.”
Chinese Ambassador to Washington Qin Gang said last week that the U.S. transits through the strait only serve to intensify tensions. “I do call on American colleagues to exercise restraint, not to do anything to escalate the tension,” Qin told reporters in Washington. “If there’s any move damaging China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, China will respond.”