China has denounced the latest US warship transit through the Taiwan Strait. The US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said the guided-missile destroyer USS Milius steamed through the sensitive waterway on Tuesday and described it as a “routine transit.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the US transit was a deliberate provocation. “The Chinese side was closely following and fully aware of the US military vessel’s passage through the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
“The US warships have repeatedly flexed muscles, made provocations, and stirred up trouble in the Taiwan Strait in the name of “freedom of navigation.” This is by no means commitment to freedom and openness, but rather a deliberate disruption and sabotage of regional peace and stability,” Zhao said.
The Biden administration has been sailing warships through the Taiwan Strait just about every month, and Tuesday’s transit marked the 11th of the year. Last month, the US conducted a joint patrol with Canadian vessels through the Strait, an example of how Washington is bringing its Western allies to join in on the provocations in the region.
In 2020, the US sailed warships through the Taiwan Strait 13 times, a record high. The increase in US military activity in the region reflects Washington’s focus on countering China.