US Warship Transits Taiwan Strait after Biden-Xi Summit
Despite numerous cautionary responses from Beijing, a US warship sailed through the strait separating Taiwan and China.
A US warship sailed through the strait separating Taiwan and China on Tuesday, a first since leaders from the two rival superpowers held an online summit, the navy stated.
The passage through the Taiwan Strait by the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Milius was a routine transit, the US Seventh Fleet reported.
The venture through the passage "demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific," the Fleet said in a statement.
The latest transit came after Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden exchanged strong warnings on the future of Taiwan at a virtual summit earlier this month.
US warships periodically conduct exercises in the strait in an attempt to provoke Beijing, often triggering cautionary responses from Beijing, As China views Taiwan and the surrounding waters as its territory.
US route in the Strait
A growing number of US allies have transited the route as Beijing intensifies its military threats towards Taiwan and solidifies its control over the disputed South China Sea.
Warships from Britain, France, Canada, and Australia have all made passages through the Taiwan Strait in recent years, sparking protests from Beijing.
China's foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian slammed the latest transit as a "deliberate attempt to disrupt and undermine regional peace and stability".
"The US should immediately correct its mistake, stop stirring up trouble, crossing the line, and playing with fire," he warned.
Collin Koh, a research fellow at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, possesses a database of announced US transits through the Taiwan Strait: Nine were recorded in 2019 followed by 15 in 2020. So far this year there have been 11, including the USS Milius crossing.