China says it tailed US warship in Taiwan Strait

China says it tailed US warship in Taiwan Strait

America sending ‘flirtatious glances’ to supporters of Taiwan independence, Beijing claims

SHANGHAI/TAIPEI (Reuters) — China’s military tailed a U.S. warship as it passed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Saturday, the Chinese military said, denouncing such missions as sending “flirtatious glances” to supporters of Taiwan independence.

China, which claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, has been angered by stepped-up U.S. support for the island, including arms sales and sailing warships through the Taiwan Strait, further souring Beijing-Washington relations.

The U.S. Navy said the guided missile destroyer USS Mustin had conducted “a routine Taiwan Strait transit (on) Dec. 19 in accordance with international law”.

“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” it added.

This is the 12th sailing through the strait by the U.S. Navy this year.