September 30, 2022
US, Canada warships pass through Taiwan Strait;  China calls “public propaganda”

US, Canada warships pass through Taiwan Strait;  China calls “public propaganda”

A spokesman for China’s Eastern Theater Command described the latest transit as “public propaganda”.

Taiwan:

An American destroyer and a Canadian warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday in the latest joint operation aimed at cementing the route’s status as an international waterway.

Beijing views both its democratic Taiwan and the narrow body of water separating the island from mainland China – one of the world’s busiest shipping channels.

The United States has long used the “freedom of navigation” route through the Taiwan Strait to push back against Chinese claims and Western allies have increasingly joined these actions.

USS Higgins, an Earle Burke-class destroyer, “conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit on 20 September (local time) … in accordance with international law” in collaboration with the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigate HMCS Vancouver, the US Navy’s seventh Fleet said.

“The ship passed through a corridor in the strait that is beyond the territorial sea of ​​any coastal state.”

Canada said HMCS Vancouver was en route to join an ongoing mission to enforce UN sanctions against North Korea when it transited with the USS Higgins.

Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said in a statement, using another term for the Asia-Pacific region, “Today’s regular Taiwan Strait transit demonstrates our commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. “

A spokesman for China’s Eastern Theater Command described the latest transit as “public propaganda”.

According to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, Colonel Xi Yi said, “Soldiers are always on high alert, vigorously countering all threats and provocations, and defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

British, Canadian, French and Australian warships have made their way through the Taiwan Strait in recent years, drawing opposition from Beijing.

They also frequently sail into the South China Sea, another important shipping area that Beijing insists comes under its jurisdiction, despite a 2016 Hague ruling that rejected its claims as well as those of several neighboring rivals. Had done it.

The last time US and Canadian warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait was 11 months ago when the destroyer USS Dewey and battleship HMCS Winnipeg visited.

The latest joint route came a day after President Joe Biden re-announced that US troops would come to Taiwan’s aid in the event of a Chinese invasion.

Despite Washington’s long-standing official policy of “strategic ambiguity”, this was the fourth time Biden had made such remarks—both calling on Beijing to stop a Chinese invasion and formally declaring independence to Taiwan. was designed to discourage provocation.

Each time after Biden’s remarks, the White House said that there was no change in US policy on Taiwan.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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