China defends buzzing American warship in Taiwan Strait, accuses US of provoking Beijing
SINGAPORE (AP) — China’s defense minister has defended sailing a warship across the path of an American destroyer and Canadian frigate transiting the Taiwan Strait, telling a gathering of some of the world’s top defense officials in Singapore that so-called “freedom of navigation” patrols are a provocation to China.
In his first international public address since becoming defense minister in March, Gen. Li Shangfu told the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday that China doesn’t have any problems with “innocent passage” but that “we must prevent attempts that try to use those freedom of navigation (patrols), that innocent passage, to exercise hegemony of navigation.” On Saturday, a Chinese warship intercepted a U.S. guided-missile destroyer and a Canadian frigate in the strait dividing Taiwan and mainland China.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.