US Navy destroyer transits through Taiwan Strait

The US Navy has announced that one of its destroyers has transited the Taiwan Strait, drawing protest from China.

The US 7th Fleet said the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey conducted a transit through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday.

The US Navy has been performing such transits regularly as China strengthens military pressure on Taiwan.

The navy said the move "demonstrates the United States' commitment to upholding freedom of navigation for all nations."

A spokesperson for the Chinese military's Eastern Theater Command issued a statement saying its maritime and air forces surveilled the entire transit and remained on alert.

It pledged to safeguard China's sovereignty as well as regional peace and stability.

Taiwan is set to inaugurate Lai Ching-te as its new president on May 20. China sees him as a separatist.