Two US Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait

An undated

An undated

Early this year, China blocked access to the website of USA hospitality company Marriott International, along with several multinational brands, for referring to Taiwan as a country.

A Chinese military expert says he expects more U.S. activity in the Taiwan Strait, after two U.S. Navy ships sailed through waters that lie between China and Taiwan.

The US downplayed the symbolic value of the passage, the first since the USS John McCain sailed through the strait in July 2017, insisting that US warships were conducting an ordinary freedom of navigation mission.

Taiwan's defense ministry said two USA missile destroyers on Saturday conducted the passage through the waters, with the United States recently warning against China's magnifying its menacing behavior toward Taiwan.

The last time a US aircraft carrier transited the Taiwan Strait was in 2007. "It has reached a point where there's rising calls within the US political and defense establishment to help Taiwan stave off this pressure".

The two ships are Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers.

While the USA and China cooperate in denculearizing North Korea, there are tensions between the two countries over China's growing military presence on man-made islands in the South China Sea. "But, it being Taiwan, it has a symbolic significance", he added.

It is obvious to everyone who the party is that is threatening the Republic of China's (ROC) sovereignty and the public's well-being, the council said, hours after China's Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Liu Jieyi (劉結一) said that the Chinese government is "resolutely opposed to any acts that bring harm to Chinese national interests".

The U.S. administration may choose to undertake further steps in support of Taiwan.

"The Taiwan question is among China's core interests, and Washington will face great risks if it provokes Beijing over Taiwan", it warned.

China has been stepping up pressure against Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's government, which it views as pro-independence.

China is now seeking to influence the outcomes of upcoming elections in Taiwan in its favor, and this is not dissimilar to recent Russian actions, said Lauren Dickey, a Washington-based analyst and researcher at King's College London.

However, in most cases, the U.S.is sending political signals by sending warships through the Taiwan Straits.

Beijing has also managed to deplete Taipei's diplomatic allies, luring away four since Tsai came to power and leaving it with only 18 countries worldwide that recognize it over China.

The communist government in Beijing considers Taiwan a renegade province that must be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary. The news comes amid increasing tensions between the United States and China.

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