Two Ticonderoga-class U.S. warships, the USS Antietam, and the USS Chancellorsville, sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the first such action since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., visited Taipei earlier this month.
“Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG 62) are conducting a routine Taiwan Strait transit Aug. 28 (local time) through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law,” the U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement Saturday. “These ships transited through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State. The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows.”
It was the first time U.S. warships went through the strait since Pelosi visited Taiwan, heightening tensions with China, and after that country’s military conducted military exercises in the area after her visit.
Those exercises included many Chinese warships and warplanes firing long-range missiles in a demonstration of strength to both the United States and the people of Taiwan, who the Chinese maintain are part of the communist mainland.
“Troops of the (Eastern) Theater Command are on high alert and ready to foil any provocation at any time,” senior Col. Shi Yi, spokesperson for the People Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said in an Associated Press story Monday, adding that the ship movements were closely monitored by the Chinese military.
National Security Council Communications Coordinator John Kirby told CNN Sunday that the move was meant to send a “clear and consistent” message to China.
“The United States military will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law permits us to do so,” Kirby said during a televised interview on CNN Sunday. “This Taiwan Strait transit with these two cruisers was planned long ago.”
Kirby said that he announced that there would be a transit of the strait while Pelosi was visiting Taiwan, and that it is consistent with the “One China Policy” the United States has observed since 1979, recognizing Taiwan as a part of China, but allowing the people on the island to determine their own governance, and decide on their own, if they would join the communist mainland.
“[This] is very consistent with our ‘One China Policy,’ ” he said. “Very consistent with our desire to make sure that we can continue to work towards a free and open Indo-Pacific. This is consistent with that policy.”
When you hear of wars and commotions, do not be afraid. For these things must first take place, but the end will not be at hand.” Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.Luke 21:9-10