The U.S. Navy dispatched a guided-missile destroyer and a cargo ship through the Taiwan Strait Monday, the latest in a series of American military maneuvers intended to send a message to Beijing that the United States will continue its support of Taiwan in the face of recent threats by the Chinese government.
The passage through the strait — shadowed by Chinese warships — comes hours after President Trump touted “substantial progress” in trade talks with China and announced plans to delay a planned tariff increase on $200 billion in Chinese goods, which had been scheduled to go into effect next week.
“USS Stethem (DDG 63) and USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE-14) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit on Feb. 25 (local time), in accordance with international law,” Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet, told Fox News in an email. “The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
He added: “The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”