The United States and its Western allies have increased “freedom of navigation” crossings by naval vessels both of the Taiwan Strait and the disputed South China Sea, to reinforce that both are international waterways, angering Beijing.
The Seventh Fleet said in a statement the transit had been made in accordance with international law and “through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State”.
“Cooperation like this represents the centrepiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region where aircraft and ships of all nations may fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”
Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Thursday it was monitoring the passage on Wednesday night, but added that “the situation was normal”.
China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be seized one day, has stepped up military and political pressure on the self-ruled island as relations have plunged in recent years.
In September, China sent in 103 planes around Taiwan within a 24-hour period, which Taipei described as “a recent high”.