One U.S. Navy warship entered the Taiwan Strait on Nov. 23.
The USS Milius sailed through narrow waters separating Taiwan and mainland China. The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer was deployed following a virtual summit between President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
The U.S. Seventh Fleet confirmed the routine voyage supports freedom of maritime navigation.
“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the fleet said in a statement. “The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows.”
Although the United States’s actions violate no law, Beijing could still consider U.S. presence to be a provocative expansion into Taiwan and its surrounding area, according to FRANCE 24.
Biden and Xi recently failed to reach mutual agreement on Taiwan’s fate. The Chinese leader warned America to stop playing with fire. Biden fired back that he “strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” according to the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Biden previously said the United States would help defend the self-governed island despite the “One China” agreement back in October. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) recently escalated its military presence in Taiwan’s air defense zone.
Taiwan continues to reject the CCP’s proposal for a “one country, two systems” reunification.
Hong Kong, which accepted a similar offer back in 1997, has faced growing influence and human rights violations from the mainland. The most common complaints are about mainland police officers gang-raping female protesters.