China national flag
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The Chinese military on Sunday condemned the United States and Canada for sending warships through the Taiwan Strait last week, saying they threaten peace and stability in the region.
China claims democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory and has conducted frequent air force missions in the Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the past year, angering Taipei.
China has sent about 150 planes to the region over four days starting on October 1, in a further escalation of tension between Beijing and Taipei that has raised international concerns.
The US military said the USS Dewey Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer sailed through the narrow waterway separating Taiwan from its giant neighbor China along with the Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg on Thursday and Friday.
“The transit of Dewey and Winnipeg through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” she added.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command said its troops were watching the ships and “standing on guard” throughout their passage.
The statement added, “The United States and Canada have colluded to stir up and stir up trouble… which seriously endangers the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait.”
“Taiwan is part of the Chinese territory. Theater forces always maintain a high level of alert and resolutely respond to all threats and provocations.”
US Navy ships have been crossing the strait almost monthly, angering Beijing, which accuses Washington of stoking regional tensions.
US allies also occasionally send ships through the strait, including Britain last month.
While tensions escalated across the Taiwan Strait, there was no shooting and no Chinese aircraft entered Taiwanese airspace, concentrating their activity in the southwestern part of the ADIZ region.
While including Taiwan’s territorial airspace, ADIZ includes a broader area that Taiwan monitors and patrols to give it more time to respond to any threats.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that three Chinese planes – two J-16 fighters and one anti-submarine aircraft – flew to the ADIZ area again.