BEIJING, Jan. 25 (Sputnik) - The Chinese military escorted and monitored the USS John Finn that passed through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday along its entire route, Shi Yi, the spokesperson for the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA), said.

The US 7th Fleet said Wednesday that the USS John Finn transited through the Taiwan Strait on January 24 to demonstrate "the United States' commitment to upholding freedom of navigation for all nations as a principle."

"The PLA Eastern Theater Command, in accordance with law and regulations, has organized forces to escort and monitor the US warship along its entire route," Shi said in a statement posted on Chinese social media WeChat.

Recently, US forces have "repeatedly carried out provocative actions and maliciously undermined regional peace and stability," the statement said.
The Chinese military maintains high combat readiness to protect the country's sovereignty and security as well as regional stability, the spokesperson added.

Taiwan has been governed independently of mainland China since 1949. Beijing views the island as its province, while Taiwan — a territory with its own elected government — maintains that it is an autonomous country but stops short of declaring independence. Beijing opposes any official contacts of foreign states with Taipei and considers Chinese sovereignty over the island indisputable.

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