On Wednesday, the Chinese military condemned the US for sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait. According to the US Navy’s Japan-based Seventh Fleet, the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson sailed through the sensitive waterway on Tuesday.
“The United States frequently carries out such provocative actions, sending wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces, and deliberately undermining the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait. We firmly oppose it,” China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said.
The US says its passages through the Taiwan Strait are “routine” operations that follow international law. “The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows,” the Seventh Fleet said.
Tensions have been high between the US and China over Washington’s increasing support for Taipei. After a recent visit to the island by a delegation of US lawmakers that was led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Beijing warned that the US was going down a “dangerous path.”
Despite the war in Ukraine and the massive US military support for Kyiv, countering China is still said to be the Biden administration’s top foreign policy priority. The Pentagon’s new National Defense Strategy identifies China as the top “threat” facing the US military.