The USS Kidd, a destroyer of the United States Navy, transits the Taiwan Strait.
In the midst of escalating regional tensions, US warships transited the Taiwan Strait for the eighth time this year, following a normal transit of the waterway by the Navy on Friday.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd moved through the Taiwan Strait, the U.S. Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet announced on Friday.
The ship was accompanied by the U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter Munro.
The announcement described the movement as being “in accordance with international law” and is part of the U.S.’s commitment to “a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
China’s navy reported at the time that it pursued the US destroyer out of Chinese-claimed waters near the disputed Paracel Islands. The US has denied infringing on China’s sovereignty.
China’s claim to the South China Sea and Taiwan, which it deems a breakaway province to be reunited with the mainland, has heightened tensions with the United States and its allies.
Earlier this week, during a diplomatic tour, US Vice President Kamala Harris urged Vietnamese officials to stand up to China’s claims to the South China Sea and what she called the Communist giant’s bullying of its neighbours.
On Tuesday, the Chinese military began a live ammunition training exercise in the South China Sea, the South China Morning Post reported.
The exercises were launched by China in response to a joint military drill by the U.S., Australia, India and Japan off the coast of Guam, the paper reported.
Yue Gang, a former People’s Liberation Army colonel, said that the drills are meant to send a message to the United States and its allies.
“When the U.S. steps up its presence in the region, China has to respond and show its muscle,” he said.