US guided-missile cruiser sails through Taiwan Strait to checkmate China influence in the Indo-Pacific

US Navy announced one of its guided-missile cruisers sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, in a move apparently aimed at checking China’s increased military activities in its surrounding waters.

The navy’s 7th Fleet announced Tuesday that earlier in the day the USS Port Royal conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit through international waters in accordance with international law.

The statement said the transit demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. It said the US military “flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows.”

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command responded in a statement on Wednesday, saying “the United States frequently stages such dramas and provokes trouble, sending wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces, and deliberately intensifying tensions across the Taiwan Strait.” It added that its troops would “resolutely counteract all threats and provocations” and defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On Tuesday, Japanese Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo expressed concern over the activity of the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning off Japan’s southwestern prefecture, Okinawa, and near Taiwan. He said Chinese fighter jets and helicopters were seen taking off and landing on the carrier more than 100 times from May 3 to Sunday.

Taiwan’s defense ministry also said a WZ-10 attack helicopter from the Chinese military was spotted over the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday. The aircraft reportedly flew close to the median line over the strait.

Earlier on April 26, the US Navy conducted a routine transit of the Taiwan Strait with a guided-missile destroyer.

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