China expresses protest as US vessel passes through Taiwan Strait

Beijing, May 19 (Bureau) China is deeply concerned by the US Navy destroyer passing through the Taiwan Strait, Air Force Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui, the spokesman for the Chinese army Eastern Theater Command, said on Wednesday. The United States has sent the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer Curtis Wilbur through the Taiwan Strait to demonstrate its commitment to free navigation in the region, the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) said earlier in the day.

“The USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) sailed through the Taiwan Strait on May 18 and hyped it publicly. China is firmly opposed to it,” Zhang said. According to him, the United States sent an “erroneous signal” to those who support the idea of independent Taiwan, destabilizing the regional situation. Zhang added that China’s troops conducted the tracking and monitoring of the US ship, and stands ready to respond to any threats and provocations.

China repeatedly stated that the Taiwan issue is the most sensitive in bilateral relations between Washington and Beijing. China considers Taiwan a rebel province and routinely protests whenever US warships transits the strait.