China protests against US Navy’s Taiwan Strait ‘provocation’

China protests against US Navy’s Taiwan Strait ‘provocation’

China has protested after two US Navy warships sailed though the Taiwan Strait, Trend reports referring to South China Morning Post.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily press conference on Tuesday that “We resolutely oppose the United States taking provocative actions”.

Lu said those actions were“not conducive to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and US-China relations”.

The Taiwan defence ministry said on Tuesday that it had closely monitored the ships’ passage through the waters.

The ministry said in a statement that the two vessels had sailed through the strait on Monday and left on Tuesday morning.

Taiwan’s military was fully aware of the passage of the US vessels, and is capable of defending its maritime territory and airspace security, the statement said.

The operation is likely to be viewed as a show of support to the self-ruled island from US President Donald Trump’s administration.

It also came a day after Trump announced he would halt tariff rises on US$200 billion worth of Chinese exports to the US, which had been expected to take effect from March 2.

Beijing has repeatedly demanded that Washington cut off all military ties with Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a breakaway province to be taken back by force if necessary.

China has protested after two US Navy warships sailed though the Taiwan Strait.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily press conference on Tuesday that “We resolutely oppose the United States taking provocative actions”.

Lu said those actions were“not conducive to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and US-China relations”.

The Taiwan defence ministry said on Tuesday that it had closely monitored the ships’ passage through the waters.

The ministry said in a statement that the two vessels had sailed through the strait on Monday and left on Tuesday morning.

Taiwan’s military was fully aware of the passage of the US vessels, and is capable of defending its maritime territory and airspace security, the statement said.

The operation is likely to be viewed as a show of support to the self-ruled island from US President Donald Trump’s administration.

It also came a day after Trump announced he would halt tariff rises on US$200 billion worth of Chinese exports to the US, which had been expected to take effect from March 2.

Beijing has repeatedly demanded that Washington cut off all military ties with Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a breakaway province to be taken back by force if necessary.

US Pacific Fleet made the operation public in a statement overnight, saying “the ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait shows the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”.

The two ships were the destroyer Stethem and navy cargo and ammunition ship Cesar Chavez, the US statement added.

Washington has increased its support to the island in the lead-up to this year’s 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, the US Congress’ legislation defining unofficial relations with Taiwan after it switched its diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

The US has no formal ties with Taiwan, but is bound by law to help defend the island and is its main source of arms. Washington has sold Taiwan more than US$15 billion of weaponry since 2010, according to the US defence department.

The passage follows a similar operation conducted in late January in a sign of US Navy’s increasing presence in the strategic waterway.

The United States conducted three such operations through the strait last year, while China has repeatedly sent military aircraft and warships to circle the island on drills and has also worked to peel away the island’s last diplomatic allies.

Supporters of Taiwan in the US Congress have also stepped up their efforts to pass legislation that favours the island.

One proposal before the house would mark the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act, and the other supports a US-Taiwan free trade agreement.

In late January, the House of Representatives passed a Bill, sponsored by Republican Congressman Ted Yoho, supporting Taiwan’s observer status at the World Health Organisation.

The Bill is now awaiting a vote by the Senate.

Cory Gardner, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Asia subcommittee, also plans to reintroduce the Taipei Act, which aims to discourage Taiwan’s formal diplomatic allies from switching their allegiance to Beijing.

It was initially tabled in 2018 when El Salvador became the third country to switch to Beijing in the space of a year.

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