(Taipei) The US destroyer USS Milius sailed through the Taiwan Strait claimed by Beijing on Sunday, the US Navy said, a week after extensive Chinese military exercises in the same area.

The USS Milius “conducted a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait” on Sunday, the US Navy said in a statement, “in waters where freedom of navigation and overflight on the high seas applies in accordance with international law. “.

“The ship transited through a corridor in the strait beyond any territorial sea of ​​a coastal state,” the statement added.

Last week, the USS Milius sailed near the Spratly Islands, also claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea. The Chinese government had denounced an “illegal intrusion”.

The passage of the American warship near Taiwan comes a week after extensive Chinese military exercises around the island.

For three days, Chinese warships and warplanes had simulated a “closure” of Taiwan, in retaliation for a meeting in the United States between Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy .

China views with displeasure the rapprochement in recent years between the Taiwanese authorities and the United States which, despite the absence of official relations, provides the island with substantial military support.

Beijing views Taiwan as a province it has yet to successfully reunify with the rest of its territory since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. China is aiming for this reunification, by force if necessary.