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China slams passage of US Navy warships through Taiwan Strait

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday denounced the passage of two US Navy warships through the Taiwan Strait, calling it a “provocation” aimed at “sabotaging regional peace and stability”.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Washington must observe the “One China” policy, which is the position that there is only one Chinese government, reports dpa news agency.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the democratic island part of its territory and opposes any form of official contacts between Taiwan and others.

On Sunday, the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville made a “routine” mission through international waters, the US Navy’s 7th Fleet said.

“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows,” the statement said.

It was the first time the US military sent warships through the strategic waterway since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan on August 2.

The brief visit, during which Pelosi pledged Washington’s solidarity, drew the ire of the leadership in Beijing.

In response, the Chinese military held large-scale manoeuvres around the island.

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