A US warship steamed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait, the first such maneuver under the Biden administration. The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said the guided-missile destroyer USS John McCain made the passage on Thursday.
Beijing said it was “closely monitoring” the warship. Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said China would “continue to be on high alert at all times, respond to all threats and provocations at any moment, and will resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The Trump administration ratcheted up tensions with Beijing by taking steps to increase ties with Taiwan and increasing US military activity in the region. In 2020, the US sailed warships through the Taiwan Strait 13 times, the most maneuvers since at least 2007, according to the South China Sea Probing Initiative.
President Biden and his cabinet have made it clear they are taking a hostile stance towards China, and US military activity in the region has continued. US military flights have been reported near Taiwan recently, and a US aircraft carrier was sent into the South China Sea during Biden’s first week in office.