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A U.S. Navy warship passed through the Taiwan Strait for the second time this year, provoking stern denunciation from China.
China criticized the “provocative” move after the guided-missile destroyer, the USS Ralph Johnson, entered the contested waters, according to a news release, Stars and Stripes reported.
The naval ship’s thru-route was “routine,” 7th Fleet spokesman Lt. Nicholas Lingo said in a news release, Reuters reported.
The USS Ralph Johnson recently passed through the Taiwan Strait. Pictured is the USS Benfold, one of two U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyers that sailed through the Taiwan Strait on a previous occasion.
“The ship is transiting 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,” said Lingo. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.”
“The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.”
Last year, U.S. ships would regularly pass through the Taiwan Strait — nearly once per month — but have not done so since November.
A pro-Ukraine protester holds a sign outside the Russian representative’s office in Taipei, Taiwan, Feb. 26, 2022.
Taiwan is also on a heightened state of alert, cautious China might use Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to invade its country.
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