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Two US destroyers sail into Taiwan Strait: Taiwan govt

AFP  |  Taipei 

Two warships entered the Strait today, the said, at a time of heightened tensions between and

The destroyers USS Mustin and USS Benfold sailed into the narrow waterway separating and on Saturday morning and were expected to continue on a northeast course, Taiwan's defence ministry said in a statement.

"The military is monitoring the situation in neighbouring areas, and has the confidence and abilities to maintain regional stability and defend national security," the statement added.

A told AFP the ships were still in the strait on Saturday night, sailing in what he described as international waters.

The warships' entry into the strait comes as and are locked in a trade war and as tensions escalate between and

sees self-ruling democratic as part of its territory to be reunified, but the island sees itself as a sovereign country.

Although the US does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, it is its most powerful ally and biggest arms supplier.

has stepped up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan since Beijing-sceptic Tsai Ing-wen took office two years ago as her government refuses to acknowledge that the island is part of "one China."

Relations between the US and Taiwan have warmed recently as signed legislation paving the way for mutual visits by top officials and the approved a licence required to sell to Taiwan.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, July 07 2018. 22:16 IST