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US warship sails through Taiwan Strait amid China tensions

US warship sails through Taiwan Strait amid China tensions
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A U.S. Navy warship sailed through the contested Taiwan Strait on Wednesday amid rising tensions with China, who said the same day that the use of force to block formal independence for Taiwan remained on the table, according to CNN.

"USS Antietam conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit July 24-25 (local time) in accordance with international law," Cmdr. Clay Doss, a spokesman for the US Navy's Seventh Fleet, told the network in a statement.

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"The ships' transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” he added.

The U.S. Navy regularly enters the waterway, most recently doing so in May, but Beijing, which often has U.S. vessels in the region followed, has recently taken umbrage at what it views as increased pro-independence activity in Tibet, Taiwan and western China.

In a national defense white paper the government released Wednesday, it accused the Taiwanese government of “pursuing a path of separatism” and "intensifying hostility and confrontation and borrowing the strength of foreign influence."

In remarks to the press the same day, Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said Taiwanese independence would be a threat to Chinese sovereignty, according to CNN.

"To seek Taiwan independence will get nowhere and China never allow any part of its territory to be separated," he said.