China protests passage of US destroyer through Taiwan Strait

25-Nov-2021 Intellasia | TheHill | 7:19 AM Print This Post

China on Tuesday protested a US naval warship’s passage through the Taiwan Strait, saying the action threatens regional stability.

The US 7th Fleet said Monday that it sent Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius to conduct a “routine Taiwan Strait transit” on Tuesday (local time) through international waters in accordance with international law.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian invites questions during the daily press conference held at the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. China on Tuesday protested the passage of a U.S. Navy destroyer through the Taiwan Strait, calling that a deliberate move to undermine stability in the region. (AP Photo/Liu Zheng)

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian invites questions during the daily press conference held at the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. China on Tuesday protested the passage of a U.S. Navy destroyer through the Taiwan Strait, calling that a deliberate move to undermine stability in the region. (AP Photo/Liu Zheng)

“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the statement said. “The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows.”

The Chinese military’s Eastern Theater Command sent naval and air forces to “conduct close-in tracking and monitoring” of the warship while on course, Senior Col. Shi Yi, a spokesperson for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement.

Shi said the US’s action “created security risks and undermined regional stability,” adding that the Eastern Theater Command will “take all measures necessary to resolutely counter all threats and provocations and safeguard China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

US warships have frequently travelled through the Taiwan Strait. These actions have angered Beijing, which has accused Washington of increasing tensions.

Last month, the US military sent Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey through the Strait.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters on Tuesday that the US’s warship have repeatedly “flexed muscles, made provocations and stirred up trouble in the Taiwan Strait in the name of ‘freedom of navigation.’ ”

“China is firmly resolved in upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Zhao continued. “The US side should immediately correct its mistakes, stop making provocations, challenging the bottom line and playing with fire, and play a more constructive role in regional peace and stability.”

China claims Taiwan as its own territory, and in recent months has made displays of force to underline that claim, sending dozens of military aircraft Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.

Last week, in a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Biden reiterated the US’s commitment to the “one China” policy, under which the US recognises Taiwan as part of China. The US is also committed to providing Taiwan with arms for its defense under the Taiwan Relations Act.

https://thehill.com/policy/international/china/582803-china-protests-us-warships-passage-through-taiwan-strait

 

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