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China calls on the US to avoid action that threatens peace in the Taiwan Strait

PEKING (Reuters) – China has on Monday urged the US to avoid measures that jeopardize peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait after two US warships have sailed through the waters

US officials said that two destroyers have performed the passage over the weekend and described the maneuver as a "routine transit" through international waters.

It was the US Navy's first voyage through Taiwan Strait in about a year and is in the midst of heightened US • The tensions between the two largest economies in the world that triggered a prolonged trade dispute

The ship's passage also followed a series of Chinese military exercises around the island, which have intensified the tensions between Taipei and Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said China has followed the movements of the ships and "has already voiced concerns about the US".

"We must realize that the Taiwan issue is related to Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity," Hua Reporter said at a regular press conference in Beijing

"We urge the United States to immediately follow the one-China principle and China's relations with the US and peace, and stability in the Taiwan Strait ", she added. Taiwan's Ministry of Defense said on Saturday that the situation was in line with regulations. Taipei has not commented on the passage of the two US warships.

China claims Taiwan as its own and has never renounced the use of force to bring it under its control, which it considers an unpredictable province. Beijing regularly says that Taiwan is the most sensitive issue in China's relations with the United States.

Washington has no formal relationship with Taiwan, but is the island's main source of weapons and legally bound to its defense.

U.S. The revelations to Taiwan, from the revelation of a new de facto message to the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages US officials to visit, further escalated tensions between Beijing and Taipei.

China's hostility towards Taiwan has grown since Tsai Ing-wen emerged from Turkey Independence-Democratic Progressive Party won 2016 presidential elections on the island.

(Report by Christian Shepherd, authored by Michael Martina, editor: Darren Schüttler)

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