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US warship sails through Taiwan Strait after Chinese officials cancel visit to Hong Kong port



"USS Green Bay (LPD 20) performed a Taiwanese transit passage on August 23 (local time) in accordance with international law," Cdr. Ryan Momsen, spokesman for the US Navy's Seventh Fleet, said in a statement.

CNN reported earlier this month that the Chinese government has refused requests for port calls to Hong Kong from USS Green Bay and USS Lake Erie.

The USS Green Bay, an amphibious transport ship, was scheduled to visit Hong Kong on 17 August.

The canceled port visit was announced amid ongoing protests in Hong Kong, which Beijing accused the US of supporting, a concept denied by both protesters and the US government.

"The transit of the ship through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to the free and open Indo-Pacific. The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, "Momsen said.

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The US routinely sails through the Taiwan Strait, most recently in July, but Chinese military forces consider the strategic waterway separating China from Taiwan as a priority area and often overshadow US vessels sailing through the area.

The transit on Friday comes amid heightened trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

China announced on Friday a new round of rewards tariffs on goods worth about $ 75 billion in the United States.
The Trump administration also recently approved a large-scale sale of weapons to Taiwan, which has been heavily protested by Beijing, which views the democratic self-governing island as a renegade province.

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