It was only a matter of a few weeks ago that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the bold decision to touchdown in Taipei and poke the dragon.
The visit, which had been spoken about on and off for several weeks prior to Pelosi’s visit, irked Beijing to no end, as it appeared to imbue Taiwan’s independence with a sense of credibility. In the immediate aftermath, China made a number of serious threats toward the United States.
This week, however, the US military made a bold move that will help remind China of who they’re messing with.
Two US guided-missile cruisers were sailing through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, the Navy reported, the first American passage since China launched military exercises in response to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taipei early this month. The US 7th Fleet in Japan issued a statement saying the USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville were moving “through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law,” CNN reports. No state controls the strait, the statement said, adding, “The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
The demure response from China was telling.
China’s military said that it was monitored the warships’ journey, per the New York Times, but included nothing about a response. Its government previously told the US it would consider the passage of warships through the strait a threat to its sovereignty.
China has made a number of military threats toward the United States in recent years, but Beijing has always been all bark and no bite.