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《TAIPEI TIMES》 MND says US warship’s transit closely monitored


The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey conducts routine operations while transiting through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday.
Photo: US Navy via AP

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey conducts routine operations while transiting through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday. Photo: US Navy via AP

2024/05/10 03:00

/ Staff writer, with agencies

The military was fully aware of an operation by the US Navy on Wednesday that involved the passage of a warship through the Taiwan Strait, the Ministry of National Defense said on Wednesday.

The US Navy’s 7th Fleet in a statement on Wednesday said that the USS Halsey “conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit on May 8 through waters where high-seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law.”

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer transited through a corridor in the Strait that is “beyond the territorial sea” of any coastal state, the statement said.

“Halsey’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to upholding freedom of navigation for all nations as a principle,” it said. “No member of the international community should be intimidated or coerced into giving up their rights and freedoms. The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.”

A ministry statement said that the warship entered the Taiwan Strait from the north at 7am on Wednesday, traveling southward.

The Taiwanese military was closely monitoring the surrounding sea and airspace throughout the transit, and the situation remained normal, it said.

Beijing criticized the US ship’s transit, with Chinese Navy Senior Captain Li Xi (李熹), spokesman for the Eastern Theater Command, accusing Washington of “publicly hyping” the passage.

The Eastern Theater Command “organized naval and air forces to monitor” the US ship’s transit and handle matters ”in accordance with laws and regulations,” Li said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The last such passage was on April 17, a day after US and Chinese defense chiefs held their first talks since November 2022 in an effort to reduce regional tensions.

In the 24 hours leading up to 6am yesterday, 23 Chinese military aircraft and eight naval ships were detected operating around Taiwan, the defense ministry said.

Eight of the planes crossed the median line in the Strait and entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, prompting Taiwan to scramble jets and put coastal missile batteries and naval craft on alert, it said.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on Wednesday said a Chinese invasion of Taiwan and seizure of chips producer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) would be “absolutely devastating” to the US economy.

Asked at a US House of Representatives hearing about the impact, Raimondo said: “It would be absolutely devastating,” declining to comment on how or if it would happen.

“Right now, the United States buys 92 percent of its leading-edge chips from TSMC in Taiwan,” she said.

TSMC declined to comment.

A US government paper last year estimated that a major manufacturing disruption in Taiwan could lead to as high as a 59 percent increase in the US price of logic chips that domestic downstream producers would have to pay.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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