China claims Taiwan as a democratically ruled territory and has organized repeated Air Force missions to Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the past year, causing anger in Taipei. China sent around 150 planes to the area over a four-day period from October 1 in a further escalation of tensions between Beijing and Taipei that raised concerns internationally.
The U.S. military said the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey sailed the narrow waterway between Taiwan and its giant neighbor China on Thursday and Friday with the Canadian frigate HMCS Winnipeg.
“The transit of Dewey and Winnipeg through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.
The Eastern Theater Command of the China People’s Liberation Army said its forces were watching the ships and “standing guard” as they passed.
“The United States and Canada have come together to provoke and stir up unrest (…) seriously endangering the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
“Taiwan is part of Chinese territory. The theater forces always maintain a high level of alert and resolutely counter all threats and provocations.
US Navy ships pass through the strait about once a month, much to Beijing’s dismay, which accuses Washington of fueling regional tensions. The American allies occasionally send ships across the Strait, including Britain.
As tensions across the Taiwan Strait increased, there was no shooting and Chinese planes did not enter Taiwanese airspace, concentrating their activity in the southwestern part of ADIZ. .
While including Taiwanese territorial airspace, ADIZ encompasses a larger area that Taiwan monitors and patrols which acts to give it more time to respond to any threat.
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said on Sunday that three Chinese planes – two J-16 fighters and an anti-submarine plane – had again flown over the ADIZ.