China criticized the United States on Thursday for frequently sending warships to the Taiwan Straits to flex muscles and stir up trouble, saying the move sends the wrong signal to the "Taiwan independence" forces and threatens cross-Straits peace and stability.
The US State Department has expressed its concern about "a pattern of Chinese intimidation efforts in the region, including toward Taiwan", reiterating that the US commitment to Taiwan is "rock solid", Reuters reported.
A US warship sailed through the Taiwan Straits on Wednesday after China said an aircraft carrier group was exercising close to the island.
"The US accuses China of intimidation and coercion, which have nothing to do with China," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily news conference.
There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, Zhao said, adding that the one-China principle is the political foundation of China-US relations and a clear commitment made by Washington, and is a red line that cannot be crossed.
"Would a Chinese warship go to the Gulf of Mexico to make a show of strength?" Zhao asked.
China has no intention to intimidate or coerce anyone, the spokesman said, adding that the country also has no fear for intimidation or coercion wherever it may come from.
China has the will and capacity to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the US should fully grasp the highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question, he said.
Zhao urged Washington to avoid the dangerous path of challenging the bottom line and playing with fire, and prudently handle Taiwan-related issues.