China slams US for sending aircraft carriers to disputed waters

Beijing, China – Tensions between the United States and China are already growing in the first days of President Joe Biden's term as the two countries exchanged warnings.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt has been dispatched to the South China Sea, ostensibly to promote "freedom of the seas."
The USS Theodore Roosevelt has been dispatched to the South China Sea, ostensibly to promote "freedom of the seas."  © imago images / Poolfoto

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday criticized the movement of the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt to the South China Sea.

Zhao called the move a "demonstration of strength" that threatened peace and stability in the region.

The US said on Sunday it moved the USS Theodore Roosevelt to the South China Sea to promote "freedom of the seas."

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Zhao rejected US calls for China to reduce its pressure on Taiwan, stressing that Taiwan was an inseparable part of China.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson urged the US not to give the "wrong signals" to Taiwan's pro-independence forces, in order not to damage relations with China.

China was ready for dialogue, but only on the basis of recognition of the so-called "One China Principle," Zhao said.

Beijing was angered by the fact that a Taiwanese representative was invited to the presidential inauguration for the first time. Under former president Trump, the US already improved relations with Taiwan and formalized consular functions, which China rejects as it does not officially recognize the Taiwanese government.

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Taiwan has its own democratic government, but Beijing does not recognize the island as an independent nation.
Taiwan has its own democratic government, but Beijing does not recognize the island as an independent nation.  © siraphol/123RF

China claims most of the maritime area between China, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines and has ignored a 2016 ruling by the International Court of Arbitration rejecting its claims.

Zhao urged Biden's administration not to cause conflict and said Beijing hoped both sides could cooperate "in the spirit of non-confrontation."

The US State Department on Saturday called on China to cease what it said were ongoing attempts to "intimidate" Taiwan using "military, diplomatic and economic pressure," after Taiwan alleged an incursion by 12 Chinese military planes into its airspace.

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China has been conducting increasing flyovers recently but usually with fewer aircraft.

Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province that will one day be reunited with China, though the now democratic island has had its own government since 1949.

Cover photo: imago images / Poolfoto

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