China lashes out at US and Canada for sending warships to Taiwan Strait as regional tensions rise

China reacted with anger after the US and Canada sent warships across the strait.

“The United States and Canada have teamed up to provoke and stir up anger … which seriously threatens the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait,” the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command said in a statement, Reuters reported.

Earlier this month, China sent about 150 military aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), fueling tension in the region. In response, the US and Canada sent the guided missile destroyer USS Dewey and the frigate HMCS Winnipeg across the strait on Thursday and Friday.

“The cross-strait transit of Dewey and Winnipeg shows the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” US military officials said.

Chinese officials condemned the mission on Sunday.

“Taiwan is part of Chinese territory,” said the commando. “The theater staff always remain at a high level and resolutely oppose all threats and provocations.”

The People’s Republic of China has long refused to recognize Taiwan, which has its own democratic government, as an independent country. The island broke off from the rest of the nation in 1949 when Mao Zedong’s communists won the 22-year civil war in China. Their enemies, Chiang Kai-shek’s nationalists, withdrew to Taiwan. Both sides claimed to be the rightful government of China.

Since the beginning of the Cold War, the US has offered protection to the tiny island nation, which is separated from its huge communist neighbor by the Taiwan Strait.

Over the past year, China has repeatedly deployed air force missions to the southwestern portion of ADIZ – a vast area that oversees Taiwan – which raised the alarm in Taipei and its Western allies. But the missions didn’t actually hit Taiwanese airspace, and there was no shooting.

The US Navy sends a warship into the strait about once a month, and US allies like Canada and Britain sometimes send ships too.

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