The Chinese military has condemned the passage of a U.S. warship, the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson, through the sensitive Taiwan Strait, stressing that such missions deliberately harm the region’s peace and stability.
In response, the U.S. Navy said the USS Sampson conducted a “routine Taiwan Strait transit” this week, in line with international law.
The U.S. conducts such sorties about once a month, angering China, as they are seen as supporting Taiwan, which Beijing considers Chinese territory.
The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theatre Command said its forces monitored and warned the ship, stating, The U.S. frequently carries out such provocative actions, sending wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces, and deliberately undermining the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait. We firmly oppose it.”
According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, the Sampson sailed north through the strait, and the situation in the waterway was “as normal.”
In a statement, U.S. 7th Fleet spokesperson Nicholas Lingo said the U.S. military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows, stating, “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Like most countries, the U.S. has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is the island’s most important international supporter and arms supplier, creating an ongoing source of tension between Beijing and Washington.