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China blames US for ‘trouble’ in Taiwan Strait after warship encounter

China on Monday blamed the US for “stirring up trouble” in the Taiwan Strait after the warships of the two nations had a close encounter in the waterway south of mainland China.

“It was the US that stirred up trouble and provoked in the first place, then China followed up with handling the affairs in accordance with laws and regulations,” Wang Wenbin, spokesman for Foreign Ministry, told reporters in Beijing.

The US and Canadian warships were sailing through the Taiwan Strait on Saturday when a Chinese warship came within 150 yards of the US destroyer USS Chung-Hoon.

The US Navy has released a video of the incident.

“The Chinese military’s measures are completely reasonable, lawful, professional and safe. It is the US that should deeply reflect, self-assess and right its wrongs,” said Wang, according to the Chinese daily Global Times.

Also read: Chinese warship passed in 'unsafe manner' near US destroyer in Taiwan Strait

Shi Yi, spokesman for the Eastern Theater Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army, said China mobilized its air and naval forces to monitor the passage of the American and Canadian warships.

The PLA “guarded the whole process, and dealt with it in accordance with laws and regulations,” Shi said.

“Relevant countries deliberately create trouble in the Taiwan Strait region, deliberately provoke risks, maliciously undermine regional peace and stability, and send wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” he alleged.

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