two US warships transiting the Taiwan Strait

On August 12, Washington announced its intention to strengthen its commercial relations with Taiwan and to carry out new air and sea crossings in the strait, in response to the “provocative” actions of China. Kurt Campbell, the White House’s Asia-Pacific coordinator, said that day that Beijing had used House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent controversial visit to Taiwan to try to upend the status quo on the location of the island.

“Wherever international law permits”

Beijing had used this pretext to “launch a pressure campaign against Taiwan to change the status quo, jeopardizing peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”, by launching multi-day air and sea exercises around of the island.

American ships and planes will also make new passages in the Taiwan Strait “in the coming weeks”, Kurt Campbell announced at the time. American forces “will continue to fly, sail or operate wherever international law authorizes it”, he continued, without specifying the nature of the deployments carried out in the strait or their timetable.

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