The Chinese military on Wednesday accused the US of “deliberately intensifying tensions” by sailing a warship through the Taiwan Strait.
According to the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Port Royal passed through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday. On the same day, a Chinese attack helicopter flew slightly across the median line, which separates the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
“The United States frequently stages such dramas and provokes trouble, sending wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces, and deliberately intensifying tensions across the Taiwan Strait,” China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said in a statement.
The US sends a warship through the Taiwan Strait at about a monthly rate, and the provocations always draw condemnation from Beijing. The last time a US warship made the provocative passage was on April 26.
The latest transit comes as tensions are high between the US and China over Washington’s increasing support for Taipei. On Tuesday, China rebuked the US after the State Department changed the wording of its Taiwan fact sheet, removing a line that said the US doesn’t support the island’s independence.