China says ready to cope with any threat after U.S. warships sail through Taiwan Straits
The Chinese army is on high alert and ready to respond to all threats and provocations, said China's Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian after two U.S. warships – guided missile destroyers USS John S. McCain and USS Curtis Wilbur – sailed through the Taiwan Straits on Thursday morning.
Wu said the U.S. provocation has sent wrong signals to the "Taiwan independence" forces and seriously endangered the peace and stability of the region.
"The Chinese People's Liberation Army maintains a high level of alertness at all times, responds to all threats and provocations at all times, and resolutely defends national sovereignty and territorial integrity," the ministry said in a statement, denouncing the U.S. move as a "provocation."
It was the second such move of the U.S. this month.
On the night of December 18, U.S. warship USS Mustin sailed through the Taiwan Straits. The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) naval and aerial forces closely followed and monitored the warship, according to Senior Colonel Zhang Chunhui, a spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command.
Commenting on the incident on December 19, Zhang said China firmly opposes the recent passage of U.S. warships through the Taiwan Straits, warning that the U.S. moves undermine the peace and stability of the region.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Thursday echoed the words, urging the U.S. side to play a constructive role in defending regional peace and stability instead of sending the wrong signal to the "Taiwan independence" forces to disturb the situation.
(Cover: The USS Curtis Wilbur, 8,950-tonne Aegis destroyer of the U.S. Navy, arrives at a naval base in Busan, South Korea, June 2010. /AP)