According to the U.S. Pacific Fleet, fighter USS Barry crossed the Strait on Wednesday, October 14th. The US military describes it as a routine passage, but China has been strongly provoked.
China considers Taiwan and the sea areas around the island as Chinese territory and reacts strongly to the passage. The People’s Liberation Army stated on Thursday that it followed the American fighter from both the air and the sea “during the whole process”.
“We warn the United States that they must stop the words and actions that provoke problems and disrupt the situation in the Taiwan Strait,” said a spokesman for the Chinese military.
A statement from the US authorities said that the passage shows the United States’ willingness to ensure free movement in the Indo-Pacific area, which includes the western and central parts of the Pacific Ocean.
“The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” it said.
Taiwan has had its own government since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. The island has its own flag, currency and defense, but is not recognized as an independent country by the UN.