China says latest US sailings near Taiwan ‘extremely dangerous’

PHILO PHOTO: Chinese and American flags flutter at The Bund, before US trade delegation meets Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019. REUTERS / Aly Song / File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) – The Chinese military said on Wednesday that the last U.S. navy that claimed Taiwan near China was “extremely dangerous” and had caused such problems in the interests of no country.

The U.S.-destroyed missile destroyer USS Mustin sailed through narrow and sensitive Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, the U.S. Navy said, in what have become relatively routine travel in recent months, though they have always angered China.

The Eastern Theater Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army said its air and naval troops followed and controlled the U.S. ship throughout its voyage.

“Any words or deeds that … cause problems in the Taiwan Strait are not in line with the fundamental interests of China and the United States, harm the well-being of compatriots on both sides of the Strait, pose real threats peace and stability in the region and are extremely dangerous, “it said.

Chinese troops will remain informed at all times to protect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, it added.

Taiwan’s Department of Defense said the U.S. ship was on a “regular mission” and headed south through the Strait of Taiwan.

The voyage comes a week after U.S. Secretary of Health Alex Azar visited Taiwan, the highest-level U.S. official to travel to the island since Washington severed diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1979 in favor of Beijing.

China responded by sending fighter jets near Taiwan.

China considers Taiwan a purely domestic matter, and regularly mentions it as the most sensitive and important issue in its relations with the United States.

Report by Yew Lun Tian; Additional report by Ben Blanchard in Taipei

Our standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.