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China says US ‘hyped’ sailing of Navy warship in Taiwan Strait

USS Sampson conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit on Tuesday (US Pacific Command via AP)
USS Sampson conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit on Tuesday (US Pacific Command via AP)

The Chinese military has protested against the sailing of a US Navy guided-missile destroyer through the Taiwan Strait, accusing the American side of hyping the manoeuvre.

The Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet said late on Tuesday that the passing of the USS Sampson through the 100-mile-wide waterway between Taiwan and China “demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”.

Senior Colonel Shi Yi, a Chinese military spokesperson, said the US had “publicly hyped” the move.

“The frequent provocations of the US have sent the wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces and deliberately undermined peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” Col Shi said in a statement.

USS Sampson
Chinese officials said the US had ‘hyped’ the manoeuvre (US Pacific Command via AP)

“We firmly oppose it.”

China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and says the self-governing island must come under its rule.

It regularly denounces US support for Taiwan, including sales of military equipment to boost its defence and visits by American government officials.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said China opposes any kind of military ties between Taiwan and the US.

“The Taiwan issue concerns China’s core interest,” he said at a news conference.

“We will by no means allow – and strongly oppose – any interference by exterior forces.”

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