The U.S. Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Antietam. Photo: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images
The U.S. Navy sailed a warship through the Taiwan Strait that separates Taiwan from China Wednesday, Reuters reports — hours after China warned it hadn't ruled out using force to reunify the island nation with the mainland.
Why it matters: Taiwan is one of several flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, and this incident comes as American and Chinese officials are due to restart trade talks, per Bloomberg. The State Department notified Congress this month that it has approved a $2.2 billion arms sale to the self-ruled Taiwan — which China regards as a breakaway province.
- U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are due to travel to China Monday for the first high-level, in-person negotiations between American and Chinese officials since since talks stalled in May, Bloomberg notes.
What they're saying: Taiwan said Thursday, after the guided missile cruiser the USS Antietam had sailed through the strait that the U.S. Navy is free to take such action, per AP.
- A spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet told AP the voyage was conducted "in accordance with international law."