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U.S. warship sails through Taiwan Strait following Chinese drills | Military News

The U.S. Navy said the aircraft carrier USS Milius made a “routine” transit through the Taiwan Strait to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

A U.S. warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait in what the country’s navy described as a routine transit, just days after China wrapped up its latest military drills around the island.

The U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet said in a statement Monday that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday.

It said the warship made a “routine crossing of the Taiwan Strait” in waters where “freedom of navigation and overflight on the high seas applies under international law.”

It added that the ship’s transit demonstrates Washington’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

China had no immediate comment.

Beijing, which considers Taiwan its own territory, formally ended a three-day exercise around the island last Monday, rehearsing precision strikes and blocking the island.

It held the exercise to express anger over Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, which it sees as interference in China’s internal affairs and U.S. support for Taiwan’s independence from China.

The U.S. Navy sends warships through the Taiwan Strait about once a month and regularly conducts similar freedom of navigation missions in the disputed South China Sea.

Last week, the USS Milius approached the Chinese-controlled Mischief Reef, one of the most important man-made islands in the South China Sea.

Beijing denounced it as illegal.

After the exercise ended, China continued to conduct military activities around Taiwan, but on a reduced scale.

On Monday morning, Taiwan’s defense ministry said it had detected 18 Chinese military aircraft and four naval vessels operating near Taiwan in the past 24 hours.

China has never renounced the use of force to bring democratically run Taiwan under its control.

The Taiwanese government rejects China’s territorial claims and says only the people of Taiwan can determine their future.

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