On June 20 a U.S. Coast Guard made a rare solo transit through the Taiwan Strait a day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken ended a 2-day visit to Beijing where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
It is not uncommon for the U.S. military to send ships through the Taiwan Strait, however, U.S. Navy warships usually transit the Strait, not Coast Guard cutters. While it is not uncommon for U.S. cutters to sail through the waterway, they are typically accompanied by a Navy vessel.
The Navy's Seventh Fleet announced the passage on Thursday describing it as "routine." The transit comes amid heightened American-Chinese tensions as Beijing has increasingly warned the U.S. not to get involved in the Taiwan situation.
Chinese officials view U.S. transits of the Taiwan Strait as provocations with the Chinese Coast Guard calling the recent transit "public hype" as it noted that its ships followed the cutter "all the way" through the waterway.
It marked the first time that the Chinese Coast Guard responded to the presence of a foreign vessel in the Strait instead of the Chinese military.
In response to the transit, the Chinese Coast Guard pledged to "resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security, and maritime rights and interests."
Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard has said that it will increase its presence near China's coast and will soon be participating in joint patrols with the Philippines in the South China Sea, which will most likely be seen as another provocation by the Chinese Coast Guard.