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Iran Press TV

China's military tails, monitors US warship in Taiwan Strait

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 19 December 2020 3:25 PM

China says its military has tailed and monitored a US warship through the Taiwan Strait, warning the United States against jeopardizing peace and stability in the sensitive waterway.

The guided missile destroyer USS Mustin sailed in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday. The US Navy described the passage as "a routine Taiwan Strait transit… that [is] in accordance with international law."

The Chinese military, which has constantly warned the US against such missions in the region, said its air and naval forces "tailed and monitored" the vessel throughout the voyage.

It said such missions "deliberately raise the temperature of the Taiwan issue."

The Chinese military said that such moves were also "seriously jeopardizing peace and stability in the strait."

China considers Taiwan as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland.

The Chinese military also accused Washington of trying to use Taiwan as a pawn for its own strategic purposes.

In Taiwan, the defense ministry defended the move, describing it as "normal." It said the US warship had proceeded in a southerly direction and that it had also monitored its movement.

This was the 12th sailing through the strait by a US warship this year.

Under the internationally-recognized "One China" policy, almost all world countries — including the US — recognize Chinese sovereignty over the self-ruled Taiwan.

But the US constantly sells weapons to the island, bypassing Beijing, and avidly backs its secessionist president Tsai Ing-wen. Washington presses Taiwan to further build up its military so it can face what it calls threats from China.

Beijing, however, describes the US contact with Taiwan and the weapons sales to the island as a violation of China's sovereignty.

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