Chinese military says US Navy destroyer, Royal Canadian Navy frigate sailed through Taiwan Strait, caused tension
By Anadolu Agency
ISTANBUL Oct. 18 (AA) – China has accused the US and Canada of “seriously jeopardizing peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait after they sent warships through the narrow waterway.
The Chinese Defense Ministry said in a statement that the US and Canada “made provocations with odious nature and stirred up troubles in cahoots, which seriously jeopardized the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”
The statement came after the US Navy destroyer USS Dewey (DDG-105) and the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Winnipeg sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Friday.
“Taiwan is a part of China. Troops of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) Eastern Theater Command are staying on high alert at all times, and ready to resolutely counter all threats and provocations,” Senior Col. Shi Yi, spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said on Sunday evening.
He said the PLA responded to the “provocation” by sending naval and air forces to “track and monitor the two warships in the whole course.”
Beijing’s ire towards the two warships’ voyage close to its southeastern borders comes amid rising tensions over Taiwan.
China has sent warplanes nearly 150 times into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) since early this month.
The ADIZ is a buffer zone outside a country’s airspace where it has the right to ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves.
China claims Taiwan as a “breakaway province” while Taipei has insisted on its independence since 1949 and has diplomatic relations with at least 15 countries.
Also, American media reports claimed US Special Forces and Marines have been secretly training Taiwanese forces for at least a year.
“A US special operations unit and a contingent of Marines have been secretly operating in Taiwan to train military forces there,” The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month, citing unnamed US officials, adding that the deployment was “part of efforts to shore up the island’s defenses as concern regarding potential Chinese aggression mounts.”
The US formally recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1979 and shifted diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing, including Taiwan as part of mainland China.
Under the previous US administration of Donald Trump, the US sold arms worth billions of dollars to Taipei to “bolster Taiwan’s defense against Chinese aggression.”