September 26, 2022
USS Sampson

Sailing Troubled Waters

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China condemns “US provocation”

The US Navy ship Sampson a guided missile destroyer sailed into trouble on Wednesday when the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command issued a statement condemning its transit through the Taiwan Straits calling it a “provocation.”

Sailors handle line during a replenishment-at-sea with the Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) on April 12, 2022 in the East China Sea. US Navy Photo
Sailors handle line during a replenishment-at-sea with the Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler USNS Tippecanoe (T-AO 199) aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) on April 12, 2022 in the East China Sea. US Navy Photo

“The US has been frequently carrying out provocative acts to send wrong signals to “Taiwan Independence” forces, deliberately undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China is firmly opposed to this,” said Army Senior Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson for the Eastern Theatre Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said in a statement.

According to the Eastern Theatre Command spokesman, the USS Sampson sailed through the straits on April 26 and announced its passage to the public. In response the PLA sent planes and ships to monitor the Sampson ‘s passage. “The troops of the PLA Eastern Theatre Command always stay on high alert to resolutely defend China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Shi added.

The USS Sampson of Destroyer Squadron 21, is with the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) Carrier Strike Group currently operating in the Philippine Sea.

US 7th Fleet in a statement justified the destroyer’s transit. “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows.”

Source Chinese Defence Ministry/Pentagon

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