US destroyer's Taiwan Strait's passage slammed
China on Thursday protested the passage of a US destroyer through the Taiwan Strait, asking rhetorically whether China would sail in the Gulf of Mexico as a “show of strength.”
China tracked and monitored the USS John S. McCain throughout its passage on Wednesday, Zhang Chunhui, spokesperson for the Chinese military’s eastern theater command, said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said US ships engaging in “provocations” “send a seriously wrong signal to the forces of Taiwan independence, threatening peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
“Would a Chinese warship go to the Gulf of Mexico to make a show of strength?” he added.
Zhang said China firmly opposed the move and Chinese forces will respond with “strict precautions and vigilance.”
The US Navy said the McCain “conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit April 7 through international waters in accordance with international law.”
The McCain’s transit follows China’s announcement on Monday that its aircraft carrier Liaoning and associated vessels were holding drills near Taiwan meant to help it “safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
Meanwhile, the US Navy announced the carrier Theodore Roosevelt and its strike group reentered the South China Sea on Saturday to “conduct routine operations,” the second time the strike group has entered the strategic waterway this year.