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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightUS warship sails...

US warship sails through Taiwan Strait

US warship sails through Taiwan Strait

Taipei: A US warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, the island's defence ministry said, a move likely to anger Beijing.

The move came a day after China, which views Taiwan as a renegade province, published a defence white paper stressing its willingness to use force to thwart any move towards the self-ruled island's independence, and accusing the US of undermining global stability.

It also followed an unprecedented joint Chinese-Russia air force exercise this week that triggered furious protests of airspace violations by key US regional allies South Korea and Japan.

US warships periodically conduct "freedom of navigation" exercises in the waterway, triggering angry responses from China every time.

Beijing lodged a protest with Washington in May after a US destroyer and a supply ship sailed through the strait.

China views any ships passing through the strait as essentially a breach of its sovereignty -- while the US and many other nations view the route as international waters open to all.

Taiwan and China have been ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing views the democratic island as part of its territory.

Last month, a Canadian frigate and a support vessel passed through Taiwan Strait as they came from a visit to Vietnam's Cam Ranh Bay heading to Northeast Asia to join "a multinational effort to counter North Korea's evasion of UN Security Council sanctions by maritime smuggling".

In April, Beijing said its navy had warned off a French warship that had entered the Taiwan Strait earlier that month and lodged an official complaint with Paris.

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