US Navy destroyer enters Chinese-claimed waters for third time in a week

Tuesday was the third time in a week that a US Navy cruiser has entered Chinese territorial waters by passing via the Taiwan Strait.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold's most recent trip, according to Washington, showed its "commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific."

It was denounced by Beijing as a "provocation" that proved the US was a "destroyer of peace and stability."

The strait, a body of water 110 miles (180 km) wide, divides the democratically self-governing island of Taiwan from the mainland of China.

Despite never having had control over the island, Beijing asserts its sovereignty over Taiwan and regards the Taiwan Strait as a part of its "internal seas."

The majority of the strait, according to the US Navy, is in international waters.

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