US to continue Taiwan Strait transits and Western Pacific FONOPs despite growing tension with China
U.S. warships will continue to transit the Taiwan Straits and perform freedom of navigation operations in the Indo-Pacific despite recent Chinese live-fire drills, the Undersecretary told reporters on Monday. at Defense for politics.
The US Navy is expected to conduct freedom of navigation operations in the region in the coming days, Colin Kahl, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, said in a press briefing. It is important for Beijing to understand that the United States will continue to sail in international waters where permitted.
“We will continue to support our allies and partners. So even if China somehow tries to end the status quo, our policy is to maintain the status quo with [a] Free and open Indo-Pacific, which frankly is when I think most countries in the region would prefer,” Kahl said.
China continues drilling near Taiwan, with another round announced on Monday, according to The New York Times. There were nearly 13 Chinese warships near Taiwan, the country’s defense ministry said. The Department of Defense also reported about 40 sorties near the island.
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and the amphibious assault ship USS Tripoli (LHA-7) have been in the area since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) visited Taiwan, sparking tension between China and the United States, USNI News previously reported. Both vessels are currently in the Philippine Sea, according to USNI News’ Fleet Tracker.
Last week’s drills began shortly after Pelosi left Taiwan. Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan has caused tension between Beijing and Washington after China expressed anger over the visit.
“Legislatures from all over the world come to Taiwan. Our Congress is an independent body of our government. Nothing about the visit and the visit changes one iota of the US government’s policy towards Taiwan or towards China,” he said.
“Obviously the PRC is trying to coerce Taiwan…Obviously they are trying to coerce the international community. And all I’ll say is we’re not going to take the bait, and it won’t work. So it’s a manufactured crisis, but that doesn’t mean we have to play into it. »