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China ‘ready to thwart any provocation’ after US ships sail through Taiwan Strait

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hina has warned it is “ready to thwart any provocation at any time” after two US Navy ships passed through the Taiwan Strait.

Although classified as international waters, the strait has been a source of tension since the government of the Republic of China fled to Taiwan in 1949 following the civil war agains the communists.

The US Navy said the Chancellorsville and Antietam were carrying out the ongoing operation and had passed through the strait beyond the “territorial sea of any coastal state”.

Such operations usually take eight to 12 hours to complete and are closely monitored by China‘s military.

The operation demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, and the US military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows, the navy said.

In a warning, China’s Eastern Theater Command said: “Troops in the theater remain on high alert and are ready to thwart any provocation at any time.”

Taiwan’s defense ministry said the ships were sailing in a southerly direction and that its forces were observing but that “the situation was as normal”.

The incident comes after Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan earlier this month. Following the visit, China launched a series of military drills in the seas around Taiwan with some even entering the island’s territorial waters.

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