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China Warns U.S. Warship For ‘Intensifying Tensions’ by Sailing Near Taiwan

The Chinese Military announced they issued a "warning" to the U.S. Navy for sailing in the Taiwan Strait while China performed military drills. In this photo, a U.S. Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicle (front) maneuvers as a V-22 Osprey prepares to land on the USS Wasp, a U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship, during the amphibious landing exercises as part of the annual joint U.S.-Philippines military exercise on the shores of San Antonio town, facing the South China sea, Zambales province, on April 11, 2019. TED ALJIBE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
The Chinese Military announced they issued a “warning” to the U.S. Navy for sailing in the Taiwan Strait while China performed military drills. In this photo, a U.S. Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicle (front) maneuvers as a V-22 Osprey prepares to land on the USS Wasp, a U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship, during the amphibious landing exercises as part of the annual joint U.S.-Philippines military exercise on the shores of San Antonio town, facing the South China sea, Zambales province, on April 11, 2019. TED ALJIBE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

China’s military reported Wednesday that a warning was sent to a U.S. warship that was traveling close to Taiwan while China performed military drills nearby, stating that the U.S. was “deliberately intensifying tensions” between them.

The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command announced that routine drills were being held in the seas and airspace “in a bid to test and improve the joint operations capability of multiple services and arms.”

Meanwhile, the United States Navy’s 7th Fleet stated that the guided-missile cruiser, USS Port Royal, was conducting a “routine” Taiwan Strait transit “in accordance with international law” on Tuesday, which the Navy has been carrying out once a month, Reuters reported. The routine travel through the strait has been seen by China as a message of support for Taiwan.

China said in a Wednesday statement that they were “monitoring” the U.S. ship and “warned it.”

“The United States frequently stages such dramas and provokes trouble, sending wrong signals to Taiwan independence forces, and deliberately intensifying tensions across the Taiwan Strait,” the PLA said. “Theatre troops maintain high alert at all times, resolutely counteract all threats and provocations, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Chinese officials have discussed a potential invasion into Taiwan, though they have denied that the term “invasion” would not apply.

According to Reuters, the U.S. Navy stated that “Port Royal’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows.”

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry added that the situation in the Taiwan Strait was “as normal.”

On the same day, a Chinese attack helicopter flew across the center of the strait, doing so for the first time in 20 months, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry also confirmed.

China has long laid claim over Taiwan, which operates as an independent state, and has consistently denied that Taiwan is not under China’s rule despite having never actually governed the island.

“Since Taiwan is a part of China, how can the mainland ‘invade’ Taiwan?” Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in response to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

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