China on Monday urged the United States not to be the “troublemaker for peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits,” one day after two U.S. warships sailed through the Straits.
The U.S. cruisers Chancellorsville and Antietam sailed through the Taiwan Straits on Sunday, the first such transit publicized since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a provocative visit to China’s Taiwan region on August 2.
The passage of the U.S. warships was “very consistent” with the U.S. “one-China policy” and seeking “a free and open Indo-Pacific,” a White House official said on Sunday, according to Reuters.
Zhao Lijian, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, refuted the U.S. claim at a regular press briefing on Monday in Beijing.
U.S. warships frequently flex their muscles under the pretext of “freedom of navigation,” which is not a commitment to freedom and openness, but a provocation to seek “freedom of willful trespassing,” Zhao told reporters.
“China urged the U.S. side to stop hollowing out the one-China principle, abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiques honestly, and not to be the troublemaker for peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits,” he said.
On Sunday, the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army said it had followed and closely monitored the U.S. warships and remained on high alert and ready to thwart any provocations.