TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China on Sunday (Oct. 17) condemned the passage of U.S. and Canadian warships through the Taiwan Strait, which took place late last week.
On Friday (Oct. 15), the Beijing-based South China Sea (SCS) Probing Initiative posted a satellite image of what it claimed to be the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey and what it suspected to be the Canadian Halifax-class frigate HMCS Winnipeg passing through the Taiwan Strait that day. On Sunday (Oct. 17), the U.S. Seventh Fleet confirmed that two warships had indeed transited through the strait from Thursday (Oct. 14) to Friday and that they were indeed the USS Dewey and HMCS Winnipeg.
The U.S. Seventh Fleet stated that this voyage through the strait "demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific." It added that "cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region."
In a Weibo post on Sunday, China’s People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command claimed that its naval and air forces monitored the vessels and "stood guard" during the entire transit. It alleged the U.S. and Canada "colluded to provoke, stir up trouble, and acted egregiously, seriously jeopardizing the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait."
It repeated Beijing's mantra that "Taiwan is a part of Chinese territory." The post closed by stated that the command's forces "always maintain a high level of alert and resolutely counter all threats and provocations."
Breaking: USN destroyer and suspected RCN HMCS Winnipeg seem to conduct joint Taiwan Strait transit, Oct 15.— SCS Probing Initiative (@SCS_PI) October 15, 2021
HMCS Winnipeg, who once transited the Taiwan Strait in 2020, has been actively operating in the East and South China Seas lately.
Image via @sentinel_hub. pic.twitter.com/qys7wb2wSO