China's military on Wednesday condemned an operation the U.S. Navy conducted in the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, once again accusing Washington of provoking Beijing over the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty.
The Associated Press reported that China's Eastern Theatre Command sharply criticized an operation conducted by the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet on Tuesday, which involved a guided-missile destroyer sailing through the Taiwan Strait.
"The U.S. actions sends the wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces, deliberately disrupting the regional situation and endangering peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," said the military spokesperson.
The statement echoed previous condemnations of U.S. freedom of navigation operations in the area; the U.S. frequently conducts such operations as a show of support for the government on Taiwan, which Beijing claims sovereignty over.
The issue of Taiwan's sovereignty has proved to be a sticking point between China and the Biden administration, which has so far shown an unwillingness to back down from the strong shows of support for Taipei that the U.S. also pursued under the Trump administration.
China passed a law in 2004 that stated its claim to the right to militarily take control of Taiwan should the country attempt to "secede" from Beijing, though Taiwan, formally the Republic of China, has enjoyed self-rule for decades since the Chinese Civil War.
Beijing's view of its relationship with Taiwan was reinforced earlier this year when a Chinese defense ministry spokesman plainly warned that "'Taiwan independence’ means war,” during a news conference.