Beijing has repeatedly stated that this maritime area is part of its territorial waters, in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Taiwanese authorities on Tuesday rejected China’s claims of its sovereign rights in the Taiwan Strait.

The spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taipei, Joanne Ou, described Beijing’s claims as “absurd”, which maintains that this maritime route, which separates the island from the mainland of the Asian giant, is not made up of international waters but rather It is an exclusive economic zone of China.

“The Taiwan Strait is an international sea lane, which is outside our territorial waters, and is suitable for exercising the principle of freedom of navigation in the open sea,” the minister said,  quoted  by the South China Morning Post, stating that Taipei respect any movement of foreign vessels in the area.

“We fully understand and support the US freedom of navigation missions, which help promote peace and stability in the region,” Ou added.

The spokeswoman made these remarks a day after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin asserted  that the Taiwan Strait is within Chinese territorial waters, as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and national legislation. “There is no such thing as ‘international waters’ in UNCLOS,” he emphasized. 

In this way, he reiterated that Beijing has sovereign and administrative rights over the strait, thus denying US claims that the canal is “international waters.”

The strait separating Taiwan from the Chinese mainland has been seen as a potential flashpoint for international tension. The United States, which is not a signatory to UNCLOS, maintains a military presence of warships and warplanes in the area. In addition, the US military regularly sends its ships near Chinese-controlled islands and reefs in the disputed South China Sea.