Trump: not worried about Chinese reaction to U.S. ship passage
Washington, Oct. 23 (CNA) U.S. President Donald Trump is not concerned about possible negative reaction from Beijing after the United States sent two warships through the Taiwan Strait on Monday at a time of growing tensions between the two powers.
"I'm not worried about anything. I don't worry about things," Trump said at the White House on Tuesday in response to a reporter's question on whether he was worried about any negative reaction from China.
Asked about his administration's decision to send two U.S. Navy warships through the Taiwan Strait at this point in time, Trump said: "I will leave the decision to myself and my generals and admirals, OK? Not to you."
Trump's comments came after Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday in an email response to CNA that the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) and the guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Oct. 22 in accordance with international law.
"The ships' transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows," he said.
China had a relatively muted response to the ships' movements. When asked whether Beijing considered the ships' passage a provocative move by Washington, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing on Tuesday that China expressed "serious concern" to the U.S.
China closely monitored the operation and is keeping abreast of the situation, according to Hua.
It was the second time in three months the U.S. military has sent warships through the Taiwan Strait, which it considers to be international waters.
During the journey, Chinese People's Liberation Army warships shadowed the American ships at a safe distance, according to anonymous U.S. officials.
(By Rita Cheng and Evelyn Kao)
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