The United States is considering sailboats through the Taiwan Strait and sends a message to China about the US military’s right to travel these and all international waters, two US officials said.
The operation, currently in the planning stage, should include at least two vessels on a multi-day mission, the officials. said.
The US review, if it were to happen, comes in a time of renewed tension between Washington and Beijing, with Taiwan, an independent ruled democracy as China claims, a hot-button question. The seal would also come soon after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met regional defense chiefs in Singapore and stressed that the US would sail anywhere in the international waters.
“The United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law permits, and we encourage all nations to safely exercise their right to do the same,” Mattis told the ASEAN meeting. The Chinese Foreign and Defense Ministries did not respond immediately to the request for comments.
In Singapore, Mattis met his Chinese counterpart, gen. Wei Fenghe, in what he demanded to restore an ever-increasing military connection between the two countries.
US. Still sea people refused to comment on their future missions.
In July, two American naval ships sailed through China-Taiwan, which serves as a sovereign state, but as Beijing sees a renegade province. China said in January that it sailed a combat group for airplanes through the distance when tensions with Taiwan fell.
While the United States acknowledges that Beijing sees Taiwan as part of China, an American naval transit of the route would be seen in Taiwan as a demonstration of support to the island.
Earlier this month, Vice President Mike Pence presented a speech praising Taiwan’s “embrace of democracy” but said that the United States would continue to follow China’s policy acknowledging that Beijing claims the island as its territory.
Write to Nancy A. Youssef at [email protected]