The US Navy sent a warship through the Taiwan Strait on November 5, but the transit was not made public at the time, the commander of the US Pacific Fleet told reporters on Friday, according to USNI News.
Adm. Samuel Paparo said that the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold made the transit, making it the fourth US warship to do so since July. He said that the US sends a warship through the Taiwan Strait about once a month.
Tensions have been high in the region since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) visited Taiwan in early August. China launched its largest-ever military exercises around Taiwan in response, which included simulating a blockade and firing missiles over the island.
China has kept up some military pressure by now frequently sending warplanes across the median line, an unofficial barrier drawn by the US in the 1950s that separates the Taiwan Strait. Beijing previously avoided sending warplanes across the line, but that has changed since Pelosi’s visit.
The US and China have made a point recently to maintain dialogue, but the tensions over Taiwan will continue to rise as the US has big plans to begin providing the island billions of dollars in military aid. A final number isn’t set, but Congress is working on a plan that will give Taipei $3 billion each year.