Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense stated on January 17 that a U.S. combat ship passed through the Taiwan Strait from south to north in accordance with general navigation tasks on the 16th. The Taiwan military had the entire control over it. China also expressed its close attention and surveillance of the ship.

This is the first time a U.S. warship has sailed across the Taiwan Strait after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen won re-election with an overwhelming advantage in the Taiwan general election on January 11. Prior to this, China’s self-made aircraft carrier “Shandong Ship” sailed the Taiwan Strait twice, and the Taiwan government condemned this move to try to influence the election.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said at a regular press conference on the 17th that China is closely following and grasping the situation of US warships passing through the Taiwan Strait.

Geng Shuang emphasized that the Taiwan issue concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and is the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-US relations. “We urge the US to abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-US joint communiqués, and handle Taiwan-related issues prudently and properly, so as not to damage Sino-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

U.S. Seventh Fleet spokesman Joe Keiley said that the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh routinely passes through the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law.

The spokesperson also said that this action is a demonstration of the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail, and perform missions wherever international law allows.

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