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US, Canadian warships sail through Taiwan Strait ‘to provoke’ China

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The US Navey’s guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) transits the Pacific Ocean while participating in Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC), July 10, 2018. (Photo by Reuters))

The US military has announced that an American warship and a Canadian warship sailed through the Taiwan Strait last week in what China called an attempt “to provoke and stir up trouble” in the strait.

The US military dispatched Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey through the waterway that separates China from Chinese Taipei, which Beijing considers a part of the mainland.  

The Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg also went through the waterway.

The US military said on Sunday both ships sailed through the waterway on Thursday and Friday.

"Dewey's and Winnipeg's transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific," said the military, according to Reuters

‘US policy hypocritical, at a minimum’

American journalist Don DeBar called that policy hypocritical, at a minimum.

“I would love to see what would happen if Texas or Florida or both decided to secede from the US and Russia and/or China offered to arm them and help them ‘defend their sovereignty or freedom,” he commented to Press TV.

“Unfortunately, if that does happen, it will happen right before we see that bright flash that every person on this planet knows - somewhere in their unconscious - means the end of our species. Because those weapons are in the hands of the craziest people that ever lived, with trillions of dollars backing them up,” he added.

China condemns the US, Australian 'provocations'   

China denounced the passing of the two US and Australian military maneuvers as a threat to "peace and stability."

"The United States and Canada colluded to provoke and stir up trouble... seriously jeopardizing peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait," said China's People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theatre Command. "Taiwan is part of Chinese territory. Theatre forces always maintain a high level of alert and resolutely counter all threats and provocations."

China has accused Washington of heightening tensions in the region by sending warships that have been traveling through the Taiwan Strait about every month.

Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed that Chinese Taipei would be peacefully reunified with China and he and US President Joe Biden agreed to abide by a pre-existing agreement regarding the island's status.

“Taipei’s independence separatism is the biggest obstacle to achieving the reunification of the motherland, and the most serious hidden danger to national rejuvenation,” the president said in reference to Chinese Taipei.

Xi said “reunification through a peaceful manner” best meets the overall interests of the Chinese nation, including the people of Chinese Taipei, and that Beijing will protect its sovereignty and unity.

"No one should underestimate the Chinese people's staunch determination, firm will, and strong ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity," Xi said. "The historical task of the complete reunification of the motherland must be fulfilled, and will definitely be fulfilled."

US warships periodically carry out provocative voyages through the strait, drawing responses from China that asserts sovereignty over the self-ruled island.

Under the “One China” policy, almost all world countries recognize that sovereignty. The US, too, recognizes Chinese sovereignty but has long courted Taipei in an attempt to unnerve Beijing.

While US warships pass through the strait on an almost monthly basis, despite Chinese opposition, the United States’ allies have generally been reluctant to follow suit.

China has already sent a stern warning to the UK against deploying warships to the disputed South China Sea.

The US and its allies side with Beijing’s rival claimants in maritime disputes in the South China Sea, while China has always warned the US against military activities in the sea.

Beijing says potential close military encounters between the air and naval forces of the two countries in the region may cause accidents.

 


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