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.
"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.
Taiwan has been governed by its own administration since 1949, when a few members of the Kuomintang, having lost in a civil war against the Communists, fled to the island of Taiwan led by Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975). The biggest Chinese island has since retained not only its own governing body but also the flag, currency and some other characteristic features of the old Chinese Republic. Beijing considers Taiwan to be one of China’s provinces.
Yesterday, during a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the Oval Office, US President Donald Trump described China as, in a sense, a threat to the world because of its rapidly spiralling military build-up, when asked a respective question by a journalist.
Speaking about China’s military ambitions, the US president noted that the Asian giant is using American money to develop in military terms, referring to the trade deficit between Washington and Beijing - a recurrent topic in Trump's statements about China.