A US destroyer has sailed through the waterway separating Taiwan and China, the United States Navy said, the first such passage since leaders from the two superpowers held a rare video summit earlier this month.
The passage through the Taiwan Strait by the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Milius was a routine transit, the US Seventh Fleet said in a statement.
The voyage “demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”, the statement said.
The manoeuvring comes after US President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping traded strong warnings on the future of Taiwan at a virtual summit earlier this month.
Chinese state media reported that Xi had cautioned Biden that encouraging Taiwanese independence would be “playing with fire”.
In October, Biden appeared to break from a longstanding US policy of strategic ambiguity in regards to Taiwan, saying Washington would come to Taipei’s defence in the event of a Chinese attack.
The White House later walked back the statement, saying the US position towards Taiwan remains unchanged.