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17 Jan, 2020 08:33

Mixed signals? Beijing says it closely monitored US warship sent to Taiwan Strait after US & China inked trade deal

Mixed signals? Beijing says it closely monitored US warship sent to Taiwan Strait after US & China inked trade deal

China has claimed that it kept a close eye on a US Navy vessel that sailed through the Taiwan Strait. The naval maneuver occurred shortly after Beijing and Washington agreed to ‘phase one’ of a trade deal.

The Chinese military closely followed and monitored the USS Shiloh, a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser, during its transit, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday. He called on the United States to honor Beijing’s ‘one China’ principle and approach Taiwan-related matters in a way that does not harm US-China bilateral relations.

The US Navy described the warship’s passage as “routine,” and said that the patrol “demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Also on rt.com ‘Stop flexing muscles’: Beijing warns US against ‘intervening’ in South China Sea

The incident occurred on the same day that US President Donald Trump signed a trade deal with Beijing, in which China pledged to purchase an additional $200 billion of goods and services from the United States over the next two years. In exchange, Washington has vowed to reduce tariffs on certain Chinese products.

The US Navy periodically sends warships through the Strait. Beijing has repeatedly expressed concern over such maneuvers. The maritime feud is part of a larger dispute over the South China Sea, over which China claims full sovereignty. Washington has challenged this claim, citing the principle of ‘freedom of navigation’.

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