The US military said Sunday that a US Navy destroyer steamed through the Taiwan Strait last week with a Canadian warship in the latest example of Washington rallying allies to stoke tensions with China in the region.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey made the transit with the Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg. Both ships sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday, the US military said. According to the South China Sea Probing Initiative, the Winnipeg had steamed through the Strait in 2020.
China condemned the provocation, accusing the Western countries of stirring up trouble in the region. “The United States and Canada colluded to provoke and stir up trouble … seriously jeopardizing peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait,” China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said.
The Biden administration has been sending warships through the Taiwan Strait about once every month, and last week’s transit marked the 10th of the year. In 2020, the Trump administration made such passages 13 times, a record high.
In September, the British sent a warship through the Taiwan Strait after it signed a new military pact with the US and Australia. Under the deal, known as AUKUS, Australia will get nuclear submarines, which will likely be used to patrol waters near China’s coast.