The USS Barry, a guided-missile destroyer, has begun a transit of the Taiwan Strait as tensions between the two countries rise in the wake of the AUKUS nuclear submarine agreement. In response to the presence of the ship in China’s territory, Beijing ripped into the US as the “destroyer of peace”.
Army Senior Colonel Shi Yi told PLA-sponsored China Military Online, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theater Command has deployed troops to watch the US warship.
In a statement, the Army Senior said the US is a “destroyer of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and a security risk creator across the Taiwan Strait.”
However, the US has denied any wrongdoing in the region.
In a statement, the website of the US 7th fleet said: “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit Sept. 17 (local time Taiwan) through international waters in accordance with international law.
“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.”
Beijing’s comments follow amid reports the PLA’s Eastern Theater Command have started naval and air force patrols and other combat exercises in the airspace of Southwest Taiwan.
On September 1, China also introduced the Maritime Traffic Safety Law which requires all foreign vessels entering Chinese waters to carry permits and inform maritime authorities of their entry.
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During the summer months, Chinese fighter jets and combat ships conducted almost daily joint assault drills near Taiwan which it claimed was vital to protect its authority.
However, Taiwan vehemently opposes Chinese reunification and rule from Beijing.
Taiwan has also been involved in a recent $750 million (£540million) arms sale with the Washington in a bid to contain what the US see as Chinese expansionism.