Two US Navy vessels have passed through the Taiwan Strait in an apparent action to keep China in check amid tension between the two countries over trade issues and the South China Sea.
The US Pacific Fleet said in a statement that the destroyer USS McCampbell and the replenishment vessel USNS Walter S. Diehl conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit on Thursday.
The statement said the transit demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. It added the US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.
The US Navy also sailed ships through the strait in November. US President Donald Trump's administration has been increasing the pace of dispatch of naval ships to the region.
In a related development, Taiwanese defense authorities said multiple Chinese warplanes, including H6 bombers, conducted flight drills near Taiwan on Tuesday and Thursday.