U.S., Canadian war ships sail through Taiwan Strait
The U.S. military said on Sunday that an American warship and a Canadian warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait last week amid high tensions between China and Taiwan.
The U.S. military sent Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey through the waterway that separates China from the democratically governed island that it claims as part of its territory, Reuters reported.
The Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg also went through the waterway, with both ships sailing through on Thursday and Friday.
“Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” said the military.
Reuters noted that China condemned the passing of the two ships as a threat to “peace and stability.”
“The United States and Canada colluded to provoke and stir up trouble… seriously jeopardising peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait,” said China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command. “Taiwan is part of Chinese territory. Theatre forces always maintain a high level of alert and resolutely counter all threats and provocations.”
U.S. Navy ships been traveling through the Taiwan Strait about every month, Reuters noted. These crossings have angered Beijing, which has accused Washington of heightening tensions.
For much of this year, China has intensified its rhetoric and actions when it comes to Taiwan, including by flying dozens of military aircraft near the island on a nearly daily basis.
Earlier in October, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed that Taiwan would be peacefully reunified with China, and he and President Biden agreed to abide by a preexisting agreement regarding Taiwan’s status.
“No one should underestimate the Chinese people’s staunch determination, firm will, and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Xi said. “The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled.”