China says the United States threatens the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, shortly after the US military sent yet another warship to the sensitive waterway.
The US Navy confirmed that the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur sailed through the waters near Chinese Taipei on Tuesday.
It described the sailing as a “routine transit” in accordance with international law.
“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy’s 7th Fleet said. “The United States military will continue to fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows.”
Chinese military forces tracked and monitored the ship throughout its voyage, said a spokesman for China’s Eastern Theater Command, who also condemned the move.
He said Washington’s “actions send the wrong signals to Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) independence forces, deliberately disrupting the regional situation and endangering peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
China has sovereignty over the self-ruled Chinese Taipei, and under the “One China” policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty. But successive US administrations and other Western governments have been courting officials in Chinese Taipei in an attempted affront to Beijing.
The US has been selling weapons to Chinese Taipei and staging shows of military force around it. More recently, the US has facilitated easier diplomatic contact with the self-ruled island, in violation of Chinese sovereignty and its own stated policy.
China has in response ramped up military patrols and drills near the self-ruled 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 US against any formal relations with the government in Taipei.
The administration of US President Joe Biden has taken a hostile posture against China, including over Chinese Taipei. Biden dispatched a delegation to the self-ruled island last month, to “signal” his “personal” commitment to the secessionist government there.