US Navy Frequents Taiwan Strait to Send China Message


Passage of two U.S. Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait in February, the fourth such move since mid-2018, shows Washington’s growing support for Taiwan against threats from China, Asia scholars said this week.

Observers say the passages are aimed at showing China that the U.S. Navy has regularized patrols in the East and South China seas despite — and because of — China’s maritime expansion.

“I think the United States, by demonstrating its determination and resolve to be more actively implementing naval operations, is to send a message to China that they don’t like Chinese more aggressive and more assertive behavior in this region,” said Andrew Yang, secretary-general of the think tank Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies in Taiwan.

On Feb. 25-26, the U.S. Navy’s guided-missile destroyer Stethem and a dry cargo ship, the Cesar Chavez, passed through the 160-kilometer-wide strait separating Taiwan from China.