Beijing said it is on “heightened alert” after the US Navy sailed two ships through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday in the third such operation this year.
Chinese defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang also said Beijing would “resolutely protect China’s sovereignty” in relation to Taiwan, and that the Chinese military was “clear and fully aware of” the movement of the US ships.
The voyage by the guided missile destroyer USS Stockdale and the USNS Pecos, an oiler, came ahead of an expected meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump at the G20 summit this week in Argentina, with hopes of easing trade and military tensions between the two nations.
The US move also came after Taiwan’s ruling, pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party suffered heavy losses in mayoral and county elections to the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang.
“The People’s Liberation Army will continue to maintain heightened alert and resolutely protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ren said on Thursday.