A Chinese naval carrier group has sailed through the Taiwan Strait, where it was trailed by US and Japanese vessels, the Taiwan Defense Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The US guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville transited the Taiwan Strait between China and the island of Taiwan marking it the ninth transit through the strait by the US Navy this year.

In this April 12, 2018 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Liaoning aircraft carrier is accompanied by navy frigates and submarines conducting an exercises in the South China Sea

The 180 km-wide Taiwan Strait separates the island of Taiwan from mainland China. De facto autonomous Taiwan broke away from the mainland during the civil war in 1949. Beijing claims sovereignty over both the island and the strait.

China and Taiwan separated during a civil war in 1949, and Beijing pursues reunification ever since. Chinese officials have never renounced the use of force to bring under China’s control what it sees as a wayward province.

Beijing-Taipei ties have particularly been strained since Tsai took office in 2016, as she declines to acknowledge that both sides are part of “One China. Washington, too, follows the “One China” policy, but it has flirted with the idea of recognizing Taiwan as independent.

The USA has no diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but maintains military ties with it, forwarding advanced military hardware to the vassal island state.

China is particularly suspicious of the USA’ intentions toward Taiwan, which is a core concern of Beijing when it comes to relations with Washington.

Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2019.

 

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