first_imgTaipei: Two US warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait over the weekend, Taiwan’s defense ministry said Monday, in a move that Beijing said threatened to hinder US-China relations. The ministry said the ships made the passage on Sunday, sailing from south to north through the waterway that divides the self-governing island from mainland China. Beijing frequently objects to the movement of foreign military vessels in the strait based on its claim to Taiwan as its own territory, to be annexed by force if necessary. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince Salman ‘snubbed’ Pak PM Imran, recalled his private jet from US: ReportTaiwan’s defense ministry said US ships were free to sail through the Taiwan Strait as part of their “strategic Indo-Pacific tasks.” Despite the lack of formal diplomatic ties, the US is a key ally of Taiwan and provider of defensive weapons. China has been increasingly willing to protest actions by foreign militaries in areas it considers its home waters or sphere of influence. That especially applies to the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea, which China claims almost in its entirety. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Monday that China has expressed concern to the US about the warships. The US should handle Taiwan-related issues “prudently” in order to avoid negatively impacting its relationship with China, Geng said, adding that “the Taiwan issue is the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-US relations.”last_img

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