The Chinese military has slammed the U.S. and Canada for deploying warships through the Taiwan Strait last week, claiming that they were endangering regional peace and stability.
According to the U.S. Navy, the USS Dewey, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, and the Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg traveled across the small waterway that separates Taiwan from China 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,” it added.
The Eastern Theatre Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army tracked the ships and “guarded” them throughout their journey.
“Taiwan is part of Chinese territory. Theatre forces always maintain a high level of alert and resolutely counter all threats and provocations.”
While tensions across the Taiwan Strait have grown, no firing has occurred, and Chinese aircraft have stayed out of Taiwanese airspace, concentrating their activity in the southwestern section of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), reported Nikkei Asia.
According to Reuters, U.S. Navy ships pass across the Taiwan Strait around once a month. In addition, allies of the United States occasionally sent ships via the strait, notably the United Kingdom, last month.
Beijing has reacted angrily to the crossings, accusing Washington of inflaming tensions.
On the other hand, China has been increasing its rhetoric and actions toward Taiwan for much of this year.
Beginning on Oct. 1, China flew roughly 150 aircraft into the ADIZ during four days, escalating tensions between Beijing and Taipei to a level that has alarmed the international community.
Before, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised that Taiwan would be peacefully reunified with China. He and President Biden were committed to upholding a previous agreement on Taiwan’s status, reported The Hill.
“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 be fulfilled.”
According to Taiwan’s defense ministry, three Chinese planes—two J-16 fighters and an anti-submarine plane—entered the ADIZ again on Sunday.