The Taiwan Strait is an international waterway, and Taiwan’s government welcomes US warships crossing it, according to the foreign ministry on Tuesday, rejecting China’s claims to control over the crucial route.
Since the defeated Republic of China government retreated to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the communists, who founded the People’s Republic of China, the narrow strait has been a recurrent source of military conflict.
In recent years, US warships, as well as those from other nations such as the United Kingdom and Canada, have gone through the strait, infuriating Beijing.
China’s Foreign Ministry stated on Monday that the nation “holds sovereignty, sovereign rights, and control over the Taiwan Strait.”
Taiwan’s government claims that China has no authority to speak for it or claim sovereignty, claiming that only the people of Taiwan can decide their own destiny and that the People’s Republic of China has never ruled any portion of the island.
China has never abandoned the use of force to take control of Taiwan and regards the island as an intrinsic part of Chinese sovereignty.