The SCMP reported that Chinese authorities announced Thursday, February 4, that they were closely monitoring the passage of the US warship through the Taiwan Strait.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Uong Van Ban said, “China will continue to maintain a high level of vigilance at all times, respond to all threats and provocations, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Hopefully the United States will play a constructive role in regional peace and stability, not the other way around.
Previously, the destroyer USS John S. McCain, carrying Arleigh Burke-class guided missiles of the US 7th Fleet, crossed the Taiwan Strait. This is the first act of an American warship in this sensitive strait since President Joe Biden took office.
The U.S. 7th Fleet said USS John S. McCain’s operations “were in accordance with international law” and that “the ship’s passage through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to an Indo-Pacific free and open “. They also asserted that “the US military will continue to operate planes and ships wherever international law permits.”
The Taiwan Strait is considered a “hot spot” in relations between Washington and Beijing. China sees Taiwan as part of the territory and does not rule out the possibility of using force to unify if necessary. Meanwhile, the United States is the island’s main arms supplier.