US Navy Seventh Fleet Warship in Taiwan Strait, South China Sea to provoke China
A US Navy guided missile cruiser, Antietam, passed through the Taiwan Strait in the direction of the South China Sea on 20 September, the television channel NHK reported Saturday citing a representative of the US Seventh Fleet, based in the Pacific.
The command noted that Washington was thereby demonstrating its urge to support the concept of a free Into-Pacific region, where international sailing rules are complied with.
A US Navy ship last sailed though the Strait of Taiwan late last month, with such passes having more than once sparked outrage in China . In the wake of such incidents, the PRC’s Foreign Ministry has called for the US to strictly follow and respect the One-China policy that Washington de jure supports, having switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, although the US remains the island’s biggest arms supplier and most important unofficial ally.
China , which does not acknowledge Taiwan as a separate country, has maintained that the Taiwan Strait is Chinese territory, while the US and other countries such as France and Canada view the body as international waters.
Beijing has also blasted a US-Taiwan arms deal and threatened sanctions and blacklisting related to US companies if it is carried out, Sputnik has reported.
"China urges the US to fully recognise the highly sensitive and harmful nature of the relevant issue, abide by the One-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, refrain from selling F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan and stop arms sales to and military contact with Taiwan", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in an 18 August statement.