China says it warned US warship as it transited Taiwan Strait

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Printed flags of China and Taiwan are seen in this illustration taken April 28, 2022. Picture taken April 28, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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SHANGHAI/TAIPEI, May 11 (Reuters) – China’s military said on Wednesday it monitored and warned a U.S. warship that crossed the sensitive Taiwan Strait, a mission that took place shortly after the China conducted exercises near the island.

The US Navy’s 7th Fleet said the USS Port Royal guided-missile cruiser made a “routine” transit of the Taiwan Strait through international waters on Tuesday “in accordance with international law”, the second such mission in two weeks.

The United States makes such trips about once a month, angering China, which sees them as a sign of support for Taiwan, the democratically-ruled island that Beijing considers Chinese territory.

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The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said in a statement that its forces monitored the vessel throughout and “warned” it.

“The United States frequently stages such dramas and stirs up unrest, sending the wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces and deliberately escalating tensions across the Taiwan Strait,” he added.

“The theater troupes maintain high alert at all times, resolutely thwart all threats and provocations, and resolutely uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The US Navy said the ship “passed through a corridor in the strait which lies beyond the territorial sea of ​​any coastal state.”

“Port Royal’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military flies, sails, and operates wherever international law permits.”

Taiwan’s defense ministry said the US vessel had sailed north through the strait and the situation in the waterway was “normal”.

Chinese armed forces conducted another round of drills near Taiwan last week to improve joint combat operations, the People’s Liberation Army said on Monday, after the Chinese-claimed island reported a spike in ‘activity. Read more

The USS Sampson guided-missile destroyer crossed the Taiwan Strait on April 27, which China has condemned, saying such missions “deliberately” harm peace and stability. Read more

The United States, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but is its most important international backer and arms supplier, making it a constant source of tension between Beijing and Washington.

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Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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