On Monday, two warships from the U.S. Navy — a guided missile cruiser and a guided missile destroyer — sailed through the Taiwan Strait. It was the second such operation since July and comes after Reuters reported that Washington was considering a new operation for warships to pass through the strategic area.
In a sharply-worded editorial published Tuesday, the state-run China Daily newspaper accused President Donald Trump's administration of sending a "message of assurance" to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and "playing a high stakes game backing Taipei."
The presence of U.S. vessels in the Taiwan Strait — part of Washington's freedom of navigation operations in Asia — was intended as a "warning" to Beijing, the media outlet added.
The Taiwan Strait separates the self-ruled island of Taiwan from China. Like the South China Sea, it is a hot-button area for Chinese President Xi Jinping's government, which claims Taipei under a policy known as "One China" and opposes countries pursuing relations with the East Asian state.