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.

Go deeper