Two US warships sailed by means of the delicate Taiwan Strait on Thursday drawing protest from Beijing, the second such mission this month and coming nearly two weeks after a Chinese plane service group used the identical waterway.
China, which claims democratically run Taiwan as its personal territory, has been angered by stepped-up US assist for the island, together with arms gross sales and crusing warships by means of the Taiwan Strait, additional souring Beijing-Washington relations.
The US Navy mentioned the guided-missile destroyers USS John S. McCain and USS Curtis Wilbur had “conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit Dec. 31 in accordance with international law”.
“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” the US navy mentioned.
This is the thirteenth crusing by means of the strait by the US Navy this yr. China’s Defence Ministry denounced the journey as “provocation” and “a show of force”, including Chinese ships and plane trailed the US ships. The passage of the ships despatched the improper message to supporters of Taiwan independence and are a severe risk to peace and stability, it added.
“The Chinese People’s Liberation Army maintains a high level of alert at all times, responds to all threats and provocations at all times, and resolutely defends national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the ministry mentioned. Taiwan’s Defence Ministry mentioned the ships had sailed in a northerly route by means of the strait on what it termed an “ordinary mission”.
Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the crusing and the scenario is “as normal”, it added. China’s army mentioned it had tailed the final US warship to go by means of the Taiwan Strait on Dec. 19, and denounced the mission.
The day after that journey, Taiwan’s navy and air pressure deployed as a Chinese plane service group led by the nation’s latest service, the Shandong, sailed by means of the Taiwan Strait.
China mentioned the group was on its strategy to routine drills within the disputed South China Sea.