US warship crosses Taiwan Strait, first since Biden-Xi Jinping summit

A US warship crossed the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from mainland China on Tuesday, November 23, the US Navy reported, a first since the virtual summit between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping.

The passage through the Taiwan Strait of the USS Milius, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer equipped with missiles, was a simple routine transit, claimed the Seventh Fleet of the United States. This crossing “demonstrates U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-PacificShe said in a statement.

“Play with fire”

This event comes a week after the virtual meeting between the Chinese president and his American counterpart, in particular about Taiwan, which crystallizes all the tensions between the two powers. Beijing sees Taiwan as a rebellious province to return to its fold, and has warned that a declaration of independence would be a casus belli for it.

SEE ALSO – Xi Jinping pleads for a “strong, stable relationship” with the United States to face global challenges

The Chinese leader warned Joe Biden that encouraging the island’s independence is “a very dangerous tendency which amounts to playing with fire“. US warships periodically conduct exercises in the strait, angering Beijing, which claims Taiwan and the waters surrounding the island as part of its territory. The United States and many other countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, France and Australia believe that this area belongs to international waters, and is therefore open to everyone. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian condemned the crossing on Tuesday, seeing it as “deliberate attempt to disrupt and undermine regional peace and stability».

«The United States Should Immediately Correct Its Mistake, Stop Stirring Up Trouble, Crossing The Line, And Playing With FireHe warned. Collin Koh, research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, maintains a database on the number of crossings reported by Americans in the Taiwan Strait. Nine were carried out in 2019, followed by 15 in 2020. So far this year they have risen to 11, including that carried out by the USS Milius.

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