US pushes back against China by designating Taiwan Strait as international waterway

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The Taiwan Strait has been a frequent source of military tension since the defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the Communists, who established the People’s Republic of China. – US Navy document via Reuters

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 12:13 MYT

WASHINGTON, June 15 – The United States yesterday backed Taiwan’s claim that the strait separating the island from China is an international waterway, a further denial of Beijing’s claim to exercise sovereignty over the passage strategic.

The Taiwan Strait has been a frequent source of military tension since the defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the Communists, who established the People’s Republic of China.

In recent years, US warships, and sometimes those from allied countries such as Britain and Canada, have passed through the strait, angering Beijing.

On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry said the country “has sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait” and called it a “false assertion when some countries call the Taiwan Strait ‘waters’. international'”.

Commenting yesterday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in an email to Reuters: “The Taiwan Strait is an international waterway, which means the Taiwan Strait is an area where freedoms on the high seas, including the freedom of navigation and overflight, are guaranteed by international law.”

The world has “an abiding interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and we view this as essential to the security and prosperity of the broader Indo-Pacific region,” Price added.

He reiterated US concerns over China’s “aggressive rhetoric and coercive activity toward Taiwan” and said the United States would “continue to fly, navigate and operate wherever the international law allows it, and that includes transit through the Taiwan Strait.” Earlier on Tuesday, Taiwanese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou called China’s position a “sophism”. On Wednesday, Taiwanese Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang said the strait was “by no means China’s inland sea”.

“China’s ambition to gobble up Taiwan has never ceased or been concealed; the Taiwan Strait is a maritime zone of international free navigation,” he told reporters.

China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control and considers the island an integral part of Chinese territory.

Taiwan says China has no right to speak for itself or claim sovereignty, saying only the people of Taiwan can decide their own future and that the People’s Republic of China has never controlled any part of the island. —Reuters

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