The USS Sampson conducted a monthly patrol of the Strait, which the United States considers international waters.
China’s military accused the United States of undermining regional peace and security after it sent a naval destroyer through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday as part of a routine freedom of navigation exercise.
The People’s Liberation Army Eastern Theater Command accused the United States of “provocative” naval activities and said the move sent “wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces” in a brief statement.
The United States regularly sends destroyers through the strait, though sometimes other allies, such as France, may send a naval patrol instead.
The 180 km (112 mi) wide South China Sea waterway separates China from Taiwan and its outlying islands, all of which are claimed as sovereign territory by Beijing.
The United States considers the Taiwan Strait to be international waters.
The US 7th Fleet said the USS Sampson had sailed north-south through the strait on Tuesday.
“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates America’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the 7th Fleet said in a statement. statement after the event. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.”
Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense also confirmed that the destroyer had sailed from north to south as part of a “routine” patrol.
The United States does not formally recognize Taiwan, an autonomous democracy also known as the ROC, but in practice it is one of Taipei’s closest allies.
Beijing views the US patrols as a show of support for Taiwan and President Tsai Ing-wen, whom Beijing has labeled a “separatist.”
The United States has pledged to help Taiwan defend itself if attacked by China, although its promises stop short of a promise to intervene.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told US lawmakers on Tuesday that Washington remains committed to helping Taiwan defend itself and develop its asymmetric defense capability to prevent any attack, according to the South China Morning Post.