US destroyer and Canadian frigate transit Taiwan Strait amid tensions with China

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A US Navy destroyer and a Canadian frigate crossed the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday amid growing tensions with China.

The “routine” transit of warships has taken them through a corridor that lies beyond any country’s territorial waters, according to the US Navy.

This is the second time that US warships crossed the Taiwan Strait after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, visited the island in early August, drawing heavy criticism from Chinese officials.

“The transit of Higgins and Vancouver through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said Monday.

China launched ships and warplanes into the Taiwan Strait in the weeks following Pelosi’s visit, even carrying out simulations of attacks on US warships in the South China Sea, according to the Taiwanese government.

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President Biden has repeatedly said the United States will defend Taiwan, most recently telling 60 Minutes on Sunday that the United States would take military action in the event of an “unprecedented attack” from China.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan returned these comments Tuesday, saying there had been no change in policy and that the Biden administration still supported the “One China” policy, which recognizes Beijing as the sole Chinese government while allowing informal relations with Taiwan.

In this photo provided by Chinese news agency Xinhua, a member of the People's Liberation Army looks through binoculars during military exercises as the Taiwanese frigate Lan Yang is seen astern, Friday, August 28 2019. 5, 2022.

In this photo provided by Chinese news agency Xinhua, a member of the People’s Liberation Army looks through binoculars during military exercises as the Taiwanese frigate Lan Yang is seen astern, Friday, August 28 2019. 5, 2022.
(Lin Jian/Xinhua via AP)

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“When the President of the United States wants to announce a policy change, he will. He hasn’t,” Sullivan said Tuesday.

“[Biden] stands behind the historic United States policy toward Taiwan that has existed through Democratic and Republican administrations and has helped maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait for decades. ยป