US warships pass through politically sensitive Taiwan Strait

October 22, 2018 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says two U.S. Navy warships have passed through the politically sensitive Taiwan Strait without incident.

The 100 mile-wide (160 kilometer-wide) strait divides the island nation from mainland China. Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway Chinese province and objects to U.S. defense support for self-governing Taiwan.

A Pentagon spokesman, Col. Rob Manning, says the USS Curtis Wilbur and the USS Antietam sailed in international waters in what he calls a routine transit Monday. The Curtis Wilbur is a destroyer. The Antietam is a cruiser.

Another Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Chris Logan, says the most recent previous U.S. Navy transit of the Taiwan Strait was in July.