December 7, 2022

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US rejects China by calling the Taiwan Strait an international waterway

US rejects China by calling the Taiwan Strait an international waterway

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.

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.”

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.”

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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 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.

(Reporting by David Bronstrom, Humira Pamuk, Michael Martina; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Taipei; Editing by Lincoln Fest.)