Dos buques de EEUU atraviesan el Estrecho de Taiwán / Taiwan: Two US warships sail through strait

PEKÍN.- Dos buques de guerra de la marina estadounidense navegaron hoy en las aguas internacionales del Estrecho de Taiwán, en la primera maniobra de este tipo desde que visitara la isla la presidenta de la Cámara de Representantes de EE.UU., Nancy Pelosi, a principios de este mes de agosto.

El Ministerio de Defensa taiwanés confirmó este domingo el tránsito y afirmó en un comunicado que no se dio ninguna irregularidad mientras los dos cruceros estadounidenses navegaron hacia el norte en el Estrecho de Taiwán,

Los barcos, identificados como los cruceros de misiles guiados de la clase Ticonderoga USS Antietam y USS Chancellorsville, realizaron un tránsito «rutinario» en la zona «a través de aguas internacionales de conformidad con el derecho internacional», reportó la agencia de noticias local CNA.

Esta operación se produce tres semanas después de que Pelosi realizara una fugaz visita a Taipéi pese a las advertencias previas de Pekín, desatando una crisis en el estrecho y provocando unas maniobras militares en los alrededores de la isla.

Los juegos de guerra con fuego real y lanzamiento de misiles de largo alcance fueron calificados por el Gobierno taiwanés de «irresponsables», además de suscitar numerosas muestras de preocupación en el seno de la comunidad internacional.

Estados Unidos afirmó durante los mismos que seguiría operando por el Estrecho de Taiwán, calificando la crisis como “fabricada» por Pekín.

China reclama la soberanía sobre Taiwán, isla a la que considera una provincia rebelde desde que los nacionalistas del Kuomintang se replegaron allí en 1949, tras perder la guerra civil contra los comunistas.

EFE

Taiwan: Two US warships sail through strait

Two US warships are passing through the Taiwan Strait, the US Navy has announced.

It is the first such operation to take place since tensions between Taiwan and China increased following a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan earlier this month.

The US and other Western navies have routinely sailed through the strait in recent years.

China reacted to Ms Pelosi’s visit by holding military drills in the area.

On Sunday, Taiwan’s defence ministry says it detected 23 Chinese aircraft and eight Chinese ships operating around Taiwan.

Among the detected aircraft, seven crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait – an unofficial barrier between Taiwan and China.

Washington says its two guided-missile cruisers – the USS Antietam and the USS Chancellorsville – are demonstrating freedom of navigation through international waters.

Beijing views such actions as provocative and maintains that the island of Taiwan is an integral part of Chinese territory.

On Sunday, its military said it was monitoring the two vessels’ progress, maintaining a high alert, and was ready to defeat any provocation, Reuters news agency reports.

The US Navy said in a statement that the transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrated the “United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”.

“These ships transited through a corridor in the strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state,” the statement added.

Taiwan’s defence ministry said the ships were sailing in a southerly direction and that its forces were observing, but that “the situation was as normal”.

Taiwan is self-ruled, but China sees it as a breakaway province with which it will eventually unite, with force if necessary.

Taiwan has become yet another flashpoint between Washington and Beijing in recent years, with the US walking a diplomatic tightrope on the issue.

The US abides by the “One China” policy – a cornerstone of the two countries’ diplomatic relationship which recognises only one Chinese government – and has formal ties with Beijing and not Taiwan.

But it also maintains a “robust unofficial” relationship with the island. That includes selling weapons for Taiwan to defend itself.

BBC News