Two U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait

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RESTRICTIONS: Broadcast: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN Digital: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN
The Pentagon sent two U.S. ships through the Taiwan Strait, a move that might increase tensions between the U.S. and China.

CNN reports that on Monday, the USS Curtis Wilbur, a guided missile destroyer, and the USS Antietam, a guided missile cruiser, conducted a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait, to demonstrate 'U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific', according to the deputy spokesman of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

The two U.S. Navy warships reportedly sailed from south to north through the 110-mile waterway that separates Taiwan from China.

U.S. Defense officials told CNN that multiple Chinese warships followed the vessels during the transit, but kept at a safe distance.

America's show of force comes amidst an ongoing trade war with Beijing, as well as tensions between the two countries over China's militarization of the South China Sea.

Late last month, a U.S. guided missile destroyer passing near the Spratlys had to maneuver to avoid colliding with a Chinese ship that came within 45 yards of its bow.

China is unhappy with American support of Taiwan, in particular a $330 million arms sale package to the island nation.

While the U.S. officially adheres to Beijing's 'One China Policy', the Trump administration has sought to forge closer ties with Taiwan.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. U.S. warships sailing through Taiwan Strait
2. U.S. warships' path from south to north
3. Multiple Chinese ships following U.S. vessels
4. USS Decatur incident
5. US $330 million arms sale to Taiwan

VOICEOVER (in English):
"On Monday, the USS Curtis Wilbur and the USS Antietam conducted a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait, to demonstrate 'U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.'"

"The two U.S. Navy warships reportedly sailed from south to north through the 110-mile waterway that separates Taiwan from China."

"U.S. Defense officials say multiple Chinese warships followed the vessels during the transit, but kept at a safe distance."

"Late last month, a U.S. guided missile destroyer passing near the Spratlys had to maneuver to avoid colliding with a Chinese ship that came within 45 yards of its bow."

"China is unhappy with American support of Taiwan, in particular a $330 million arms sale package to the island nation."

SOURCES:
CNN, ABC News, Taipei Times
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/22/politics/us-warships-taiwan-strait-china/index.html
https://abcnews.go.com/International/us-navy-warships-sail-taiwan-strait/story?id=58663280
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2018/09/26/2003701167