Taipei [Taiwan], March 14 (ANI): Amid rising tensions in Indo-Pacific, a Chinese destroyer was spotted prowling near American Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn off the southeast coast of Taiwan on Thursday.
The US Navy's 7th Fleet on Wednesday announced that USS John Finn had carried out a "routine Taiwan Strait transit" that day "in accordance with international law", Taiwan News reported.
Thursday morning, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND), confirmed that the US destroyer had sailed through the Taiwan Strait from north to south.
After the USS John Finn passed through the strait, it was on Thursday detected heading east through the Bashi Channel, according to a Taiwanese military source who spoke to CNA.
By noon that day, the warship was spotted 40 miles southeast of Orchid Island, and at the same time, People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Type 052C destroyer the Jinan appeared nearby.
The military source was uncertain as to why both US and Chinese warships had appeared in the same area simultaneously.
US warships periodically conduct navigation exercises in the strait, often triggering angry responses from Beijing, which claims Taiwan and surrounding waters as its own territory.
The US and many other countries view the route as international waters open to all.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.
In recent months, China has increased its military activities around Taiwan. According to China, it is responding to what it calls "collusion" between Taipei and Washington, Taiwan's main international backer and weapons supplier, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has already made his intentions clear about Taiwan as he has vowed to never allow the island to become independent and has refused to rule out the use of force if necessary. (ANI)