The USS Curtis Wilbur sailed through the strait on Tuesday in what the U.S. described as “routine” transit.
China has accused the United States of threatening the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait after a U.S. warship returned to sail the seas that separate Taiwan and its neighboring giant.
The U.S. Navy’s seventh fleet said Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, the USS Curtis Wilbur, conducted a “routine transit through the Taiwan Strait” on Tuesday in accordance with international law.
“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” it said in a statement on its website. “The U.S. military will continue to fly, navigate and operate where international law allows.”
A spokesman for China’s Eastern Theater Command expressed strong opposition to Wednesday’s passage, which comes amid tensions between the two powers.
“U.S. actions send the wrong signals to Taiwan’s pro-independence forces, deliberately altering the regional situation and endangering peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
Chinese forces tracked and monitored the ship throughout its voyage, he added.
China believes Taiwan’s democratically elected government is determined on a formal declaration of independence from the island, a red line for Beijing.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen says they are already an independent state called the Republic of China, the formal name of the island.
Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said the destroyer had sailed south across the strait and that the “situation was normal.”
The United States Navy has conducted these operations more or less every month. The seventh fleet is based in Japan.
The United States, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is its largest international sponsor and a substantial arms seller.
Military tension between Taiwan and Beijing has increased over the past year, with Taipei complaining that China has repeatedly sent its air force to Taiwan’s air defense zone.
Some of these activities may involve several fighters and bombers.
China has said its activities around Taiwan are aimed at protecting Chinese sovereignty. The Taiwanese government has condemned China’s maneuvers as intimidation.