The destroyer USS Barry crossed the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday in what the US Navy called a routine transit.
China said on Thursday that the United States was seriously undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait after a U.S. Navy destroyer crossed the waters amid escalating tensions between Beijing and Taipei.
Zhang Chunhui, spokesperson for China’s Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement that the Chinese military had followed and monitored the USS Barry as the destroyer crossed the strait on Wednesday.
Zhang accused the United States of sending misleading signals to the people of Taiwan, state media reported.
China regards Taiwan, an autonomous island and one of the region’s most dynamic democracies, as part of its territory and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve its goals. It has become more and more assertive since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016, and in recent weeks has made a number of sorties around the island, prompting Taiwan to scramble its air forces.
Ships passing through the Taiwan Strait demonstrate the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement. The United States Navy will continue to fly, navigate and operate wherever international law permits.
Although the United States has no formal connection with Taiwan, it is required by law to defend the island. Beijing has accused Washington and Taipei of colluding with the island officially declaring its independence.
The White House has indicated that it wants to sell sophisticated military hardware to Taiwan, including MQ-9 drones and a coastal defensive missile system, while Tsai said the island wants to modernize its military and improve its warfare capability. asymmetric.
Here we are at the Leshan radar station, at an altitude of 2,600 meters. A vital air defense outpost for nations, this station provides long-range detection and early warning capabilities so that we can respond quickly to incursions by foreign aircraft and keep #Taiwan safe. pic.twitter.com/x5FkCGBxHB
Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) October 14, 2020
Zhang said the United States should stop its provocative words and actions in the Taiwan Strait, adding that the Chinese military will steadfastly defend the country’s territorial integrity and maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said in a separate statement that the USS Barry was sailing north through the strait and that its forces were also monitoring the warship, adding that the situation was normal.
This was the 10th such transit by a US Navy ship this year, the most recent being a destroyer on August 31.
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