Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen (C) attends a ceremony to kick start the building of Blue Magpie advanced jet trainer aircraft, at a factory of Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, in Taichung, Taiwan June 1, 2018. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)
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The United States is considering sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait, U.S. officials say, in a move that could provoke a sharp reaction from Beijing at a time when Sino-U.S. ties are under pressure from trade disputes and the North Korean nuclear crisis.U.S. officials told Reuters that the United States had already examined plans for an aircraft carrier passage once this year but ultimately did not pursue them, perhaps because of concerns about upsetting China.Separately, it now appears unlikely the United States will send top officials to a June 12 dedication ceremony for the new American Institute in Taiwan, America's de facto embassy in Taiwan.Since taking office, Trump has approved a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan and angered Beijing by signing legislation encouraging visits by senior U.S. officials to Taiwan.Military experts say the balance of power between Taiwan and China has shifted decisively in China's favor in recent years, and China could easily overwhelm the island unless U.S. forces came quickly to Taiwan's aid.
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