A US Navy ship stopped at a port in Taiwan, and China is not happy


A US Navy research vessel docked in Taiwan Monday, sparking concern in Beijing at a time of heightened tension between the US and China.

The Thomas G. Thompson (T-AGOR-23), a research ship owned by the Office of Naval Research, arrived in Kaohsiung earlier this week to refuel and make crew changes, the Associated Press reported. The Taiwan Ministry of Defense stressed that the visit, notably not a first for this oceanographic vessel, is “unrelated to military activity.”

China is “expressing our solemn concerns to the US side,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang said Wednesday, adding that Beijing “opposes all kinds of military contacts between the US and Taiwan.” The US should immediately “stop all forms of official exchanges and military interactions with Taiwan and handle the Taiwan-related issues with caution,” he warned.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, called on the parties involved to be cautious “in deed and avoid undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,” according to China’s Xinhua News Agency. “The Taiwan issue bears on China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and core interests, and we have firmly resolved to safeguard state sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Ma explained.