Taiwan News, through the reference of Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, has reported that two U.S. Navy vessels had crossed into the Taiwan Straits.
This news in the time of highly tensed Washington-Beijing diplomatic rift will further escalate the fissure between the countries.
Republic of China Ministry of National Defense says two Arleigh Burke- class destroyers, USS Benfold (DDG-65) and USS Mustin (DDG-89) transit thru Taiwan Strait today. From southwest towards northeast. Photo: Republic of Korea Armed Forces pic.twitter.com/7BcFptCNRu
— Alert 5 (@alert5) July 7, 2018
In reference to Central News Agency (CNA), Taiwan News reports: It was the first time since the George W. Bush Administration in 2007 that a U.S. government had sent a Navy ship through the Taiwan Strait.
US #destroyers #BENFOLD DDG65 and #MUSTIN DDG89 passed thru the #Taiwan Strait between Taiwan and mainland #China July 7, Nat Chinese MoD reported; 1st such passage since 2007. Both US Seventh #Fleet ships are based in #Japan. https://t.co/knXGR0BRmk pic.twitter.com/kUYNwByWL6
— Chris Cavas (@CavasShips) July 7, 2018
CNN, however, said in a report that this U.S. entrance into the Taiwan Strait was first such attempt since USS John S. McCain made the transit in July 2017.
— CNN International (@cnni) July 8, 2018
Describing the passage of the ships as “a routine transit,” Brown told CNN as they quote him: “US Navy ships transit between the South China Sea and the East China Sea via the Taiwan Strait, and have done so for many years.”
In a move likely to irk China, 2 @USNavy destroyers are transiting the Taiwain Strait. a US Navy official tells CNN.
The USS Mustin & USS Benfold are sailing from south to north. They’re the first American warships to transit the Taiwan Strait since July 2017
— Ryan Browne (@rabrowne75) July 7, 2018
The Trump administration has been at odds with Beijing over the man-made island in the South China Sea. Recently U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis has accused the Chinese President of breaking the promise as Xi promised not to militarize the island during his 2015 White House visit.