USS John C. Stennis transits Taiwan Strait

Written by Staff Writer at CNN The US Navy said on Thursday it has again sailed a warship through Taiwan Strait , placing the political spotlight back on the sensitive waters.

The USS John C. Stennis entered the strait on Thursday afternoon and was expected to return to its home port in Yokosuka, Japan, later in the evening, the Navy said in a statement.

The Navy has routinely transited the strait since 1994 but this is believed to be the first time it has done so in October.

The transit was described by US Pacific Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Dave Benham as a normal transit between the Japanese port of Yokosuka and the US Navy’s home port of San Diego.

“The missile defense-capable USS John C. Stennis transited the Taiwan Strait,” he said. “The ship’s transit of the strait was regularly scheduled and the transit was no different than any other transit in the past.”

Around 100 missiles flew over the strait by Chinese bomber jets during the same period last month, prompting concern from the Trump administration.

China responded angrily, saying the US move was illegal and irresponsible, and amounted to provocation aimed at harming cross-strait ties.

Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China regards as part of its territory, has faced a series of controversial incidents this year.

China’s recent ban on American citizens and Taiwanese residents buying property in China — including being barred from visiting its tourism destinations — has also raised alarm among Taipei and its partners.

The US had earlier cut $200 million in aid to Taiwan, who has, in recent years, become increasingly reliant on support from its historic ally, the US.

More than 20 million Americans supported Taiwan after China defeated the Nationalists in the Chinese civil war in 1949, but the US has also angered Beijing by supporting the Taiwanese against Beijing’s actions.

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