Beijing blamed the United States on Thursday for tensions over Taiwan after a U.S. warship sailed close to the Chinese-claimed island, asking rhetorically whether China would sail in the Gulf of Mexico as a “show of strength”.
The democratically-run island has complained of repeated military activities by Beijing in recent months, with China’s air force making almost daily forays into Taiwan’s air defence identification zone.
On Monday, China said an aircraft carrier group was exercising close to the island, and on Wednesday a U.S. warship sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait that separates the island from its giant neighbour.
Speaking at a daily news briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said U.S. ships engaging in “provocations” “send a seriously wrong signal to the forces of Taiwan independence, threatening peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait”.
“Would a Chinese warship go to the Gulf of Mexico to make a show of strength?” he added.