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China tracks US Navy ship’s passage through Taiwan Strait

China says it tracked a US Navy warship as it passed through the Taiwan Strait and has its forces in the area on high alert, as tensions between the world’s two largest economies and rivals for regional influence continue to simmer.

The spokesperson for its Eastern Theater Command, Maj. Zhang Chunxuan, said air and sea forces were mobilized to keep tabs Wednesday on the USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.

Zhang said the US has recently been sending “the wrong signal” to proponents of independence for Taiwan, a pro-U.S. self-governing democracy that China claims as its own territory, to be annexed by force if necessary.

Although the Taiwan Strait is a public waterway, China is extremely sensitive to all U.S. military moves in its periphery amid heightened tensions over Taiwan, the South China Sea, trade disputes and other issues.

The US has been “seriously undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait region. We are asking the United States to stop making trouble through its words and actions in the Taiwan Strait,” Zhang said.

Chinese troops in the Eastern Theater “remain on high alert, resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely safeguard peace and stability around the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

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Indian Express
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