U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait

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The move could aggravate existing tensions between China and Taiwan, the independent island claimed by Beijing as part of its national territory. Now the USA has pushed two destroyers through the channel in a move bound to inflame tensions with Beijing. A White House statement described Beijing's action as "Orwellian nonsense" and said "China's efforts to export its censorship and political correctness to Americans and the rest of the free world will be resisted".

The ships were identified as Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, the MND said.

Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Charlie Brown called the passage of the ships "a routine transit".

The US Navy says it has sailed 2 of its warships through the Taiwan Strait.

China has boosted its own military presence in the region, sailing its own aircraft carrier through the strait in January.

Under circumstances anywhere else, the lawful passage of warships through the high seas shouldn't be news, but the geopolitical circumstances of the Taiwan Strait ensure that any US warship presence in the area draws scrutiny.

Both destroyers are based in Japan.

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According to a Taiwanese cyber security official, the majority of cyber attacks against Taiwan originate in China, and that China instigates up to 40 million cyber attacks against Taiwan per month. In 2007, a US aircraft carrier sailed through the strait on its way to home port in Japan, a route Washington described then as a safety move due to weather.

The USS Ronald Reagan did not take part in the manoeuvre. Instead, they've been turned into heavily defended, hardened fortresses.

China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be conquered by force if necessary, has criticized recent US moves to strengthen relations with the administration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

USS Benfold with the Australian flag flying during a friendly visit. On Monday, the Chinese media accused Washington of playing a "psychological game" after they sailed two warships through the Taiwan Strait over the weekend.

"We must state, the Taiwan issue is related to Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity", Hua told reporters at a regular news briefing in Beijing.

China's hostility towards Taiwan has grown since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won presidential elections on the island in 2016.

It has lured away four of Taiwan's diplomatic allies since Tsai came to power, leaving only 18 countries in the world that recognise Taipei over Beijing. "We need to work together to reaffirm our values of democracy and freedom in order to constrain China and also minimise the expansion of their hegemonic influence".

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