A US warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, the fifth such transit of the Biden administration. The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said the guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur made the provocative passage.
A spokesman from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) denounced the US provocation on Wednesday. “The US move sends the wrong signals to Taiwanese independence-leaning forces, deliberately disrupting and sabotaging the regional situation and endangering peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” said PLA Eastern Theatre Command spokesman Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui, as quoted by The South China Morning Post.
US transits through the sensitive waterway have become common in recent years, raising the risk of conflict with China due to the lack of communication between the US and Chinese military. In 2020, the Trump administration sailed warships through the Taiwan Strait 13 times, the highest number of such passages since at least 2007.
The Trump administration significantly escalated US military activity in the region as part of its anti-China policies, and President Biden has stepped up that activity even more. In April, Beijing said the US military presence near its coast has increased since Biden came into office.
Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said operations had increased by more than 20 percent for US warships and 40 percent for military aircraft in waters claimed by Beijing.