US rejects China by calling the Taiwan Strait an international waterway

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Kidd and US Coast Guard cutter Monroe pass through the Taiwan Strait on August 27, 2021. US Navy / Posted via Reuters

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday backed Taiwan’s assertion that the strait separating the island from China is an international waterway, in yet another rejection of Beijing’s claim to sovereignty over the strategic passage.

The Taiwan Strait has been a frequent source of military tension since the defeated ROC 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, American warships, and sometimes those of allied nations such as Britain and Canada, have sailed through the strait, much to the chagrin of Beijing.

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On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry said the country “enjoys sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Taiwan Strait,” calling it a “false claim when certain countries call the Taiwan strait ‘international waters’.”

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

Price added that the world has a “steadfast interest in peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, and we consider this to be fundamental to the security and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.”

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He reiterated US concerns about China’s “aggressive rhetoric and coercive activity in relation to Taiwan,” and said the United States would “continue to fly, sail and operate where international law permits, including transit through the Taiwan Strait.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Guan Oo called China’s position a “fallacy.” Read more

Taiwan Premier Su Tsingchang said on Wednesday that the strait is “in no way the Inland China Sea”.

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

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said the government in Taipei was “cooperating with external forces to raise the issue.”

This “harms the interests of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and betrays the interests of the Chinese nation – it is despicable,” said office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang in Beijing.

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

Taiwan says China has no right to speak on its behalf or claim sovereignty, saying only the people of Taiwan can decide their own future and that the People’s Republic of China has not controlled any part of the island.

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Additional reporting by David Bronstrom, Humira Pamuk and Michael Martina; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in the Taipei and Beijing newsroom. Lincoln Fest Editing.

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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