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China urges US to avoid provocative actions in Taiwan Strait

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – China has urged the US to refrain from actions that threaten peace and stability after two American warships sailed through waters near the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.

US officials said two destroyers carried out the passage over the weekend, calling the maneuver a “routine transit” through international waters.

It was the first trip in about a year by US Navy ships through the Taiwan Strait, and comes amid heightened US-China tensions as the world’s two biggest economies spar in what could be a prolonged trade dispute.

Reacting to the development, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing had followed the ships’ movements and had “already expressed concerns to the United States over this.”

“We must state, the Taiwan issue is related to Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Hua said. “We urge the United States to at once scrupulously abide by the One-China principle…and avoid harming China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

The US navy’s move also followed a series of Chinese military drills around the island.

In 1979, the US adopted the “One China” policy of recognizing Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. It refers to the diplomatic acknowledgement that there is only one state called China despite the existence of two governments — one in China and another on the island of Taiwan.

China sees Taiwan as its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring under its control what it sees as a wayward province.

Self-ruled Taiwan has been seeking Washington’s support is its efforts to separate from mainland China. Its hostility towards China has grown since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won presidential elections on the island in 2016.

Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan but is its main source of arms.

US overtures towards Taiwan over the past months, from unveiling a new de facto embassy to the passing of the so-called Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages official visits by US officials, have further escalated tension between Beijing and Taipei in recent months.

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