Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China voices ‘concern’ over US warships



China voices ‘concern’ over US warships

China voices ‘concern’ over US warships

CHINA said Tuesday it has expressed concern to the US over what it considered an affront to its sovereignty after two US warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait.

The move adds to increasingly fraught relations between the two countries, which have clashed over a number of issues, including trade, Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Monday was the second time in the space of three months that American warships had conducted so-called “freedom of navigation” exercises in the Taiwan Strait, a 180km wide stretch of water separating the Chinese mainland and the self-ruled democratic island.

Beijing “expressed its concern to the US side” as “the Taiwan issue concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing.

Hua said Beijing urged Washington to “scrupulously abide by the one-China principle” and “carefully handle the Taiwan-related issues in an appropriate manner”.

China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified, despite the two sides being ruled separately since the end of a civil war on the mainland in 1949.

Colonel Rob Manning from the US Department of Defence told reporters that the USS Curtis Wilbur and USS Antietam conducted a routine transit to demonstrate US commitment “to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Multiple Chinese warships shadowed the two US vessels during the transit, following at a safe distance, American defence officials told CNN.

Beijing recently conducted a series of military manoeuvres, including a live fire exercise in the Taiwan Strait in April, declaring its willingness to confront Taiwan’s “independence forces.”

Washington remains Taipei’s most powerful unofficial ally and its main arms supplier despite switching diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979.

The Trump administration has sought closer ties to the island, announcing plans last month to sell it $330 million spare parts for several aircraft including the F-16 fighter and the C-130 cargo plane.

Taiwan’s premier William Lai said during a parliamentary session Tuesday that Taiwan respected the US right of passage in international waters and recognised “the various efforts of the US in maintaining peace in the Asia-Pacific Region”.

Taiwan’s defence ministry had said in an earlier statement that the military was “closely monitoring the US warships during their passage”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment