Today, two United States warships had traveled through the international waters of the Taiwan Strait, also known as the Formosa Strait. This body of water separates Taiwan from Mainland China. “USS Curtis Wilbur (a guided missile destroyer) and USS Antietam (a guided missile carrier) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait Transit on Oct. 22, in accordance with international law,” said U.S. Pacific Fleet Spokesman, Commander Nate Christensen. According to Christensen, the passage through the strait was a demonstration of the U.S. desire to keep the strait, as well as the Indo-Pacific region, open and sovereign. This passage was recognized as routine by the Taiwanese defense ministry.
A maneuver like this antagonizes Beijing as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has considered Taiwan to be a rogue province since the former Nationalist Party (KMT) of China had fled there from the mainland during the Chinese Civil War. The unofficial alliance and arms sale between Taiwan and the U.S. will ensure that China does not make any attempts to claim the island nation. While the United States still only recognizes the PRC as a sovereign nation, part of the One China Policy, the alliance also allows there to be an American presence in the South China Sea, preventing the expansion of Chinese influence in the international waters, making the creation of islands and subsequent construction of military installations by the Chinese more difficult.