Aug 28, 2022 - World

U.S. warships sail through Taiwan Strait for first time since Pelosi visit

US Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Antietam

U.S. Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Antietam isseen docked at a port in Manila in March 2016. Photo: Noel Celis/AFP via Getty Images

Two U.S. navy warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday for the first time since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the self-governing island enraged China this month.

Driving the news: The USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville cruisers made the crossing as part of a "routine" transit, the Navy's 7th Fleet said in a statement.

  • The operation is ongoing and typically takes eight to 12 hours, per Reuters.
  • National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told CNN on Sunday that the move "was planned long ago."

What they're saying: "The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States' commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific," the 7th Fleet's statement added.

  • "The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows," it added.

The other side: The Chinese military's Eastern Theater Command said in a Weibo post Sunday that it had closely monitored the ships' passage and that troops “are on high alert and ready to foil any provocation at any time,” NBC News reported.

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