China says US threatens Taiwan Strait peace
China claims the United States is threatening the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, shortly after the U.S. military sent another warship to the sensitive waterway.
The U.S. Navy confirmed that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur crossed waters near Chinese Taipei on Tuesday.
He described navigation as “routine transit” under international law.
“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said the US Navy’s 7th Fleet. “The US military will continue to fly, navigate and operate wherever international law permits.”
Chinese military forces followed and monitored the ship throughout its voyage, said a spokesperson for the Chinese Eastern Theater Command, who also condemned the move.
He said that “Washington’s actions send the wrong signals to the separatist forces in Taiwan (Chinese Taipei), deliberately disrupting the regional situation and endangering peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
China has sovereignty over self-governing Chinese Taipei, and under the “One China” policy, almost all countries in the world recognize this sovereignty. But successive US administrations and other Western governments have courted Chinese Taipei officials in an attempt to clash in Beijing.
The United States sells arms to Chinese Taipei and stages military force shows around it. More recently, the United States has facilitated easier diplomatic contacts with the autonomous island, in violation of Chinese sovereignty and its own stated policy.
In response, China has stepped up military patrols and exercises near the autonomous island in recent months, asserting its sovereignty.
Chinese Taipei remains China’s most sensitive territorial issue and a major bone of contention with Washington. China has repeatedly warned the United States against any formal relationship with the Taipei government.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has adopted a hostile posture against China, including with regard to Chinese Taipei. Biden dispatched a delegation to the autonomous island last month, to “signal” his “personal” commitment to the secessionist government.