Thu, Nov 14, 2019 - Page 3 News List

US Navy vessel transited through Strait: ministry

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday confirmed that a US warship earlier this week sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the ninth such transit this year.

“The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) transits the Taiwan Strait,” the US 7th Fleet yesterday morning said in a Facebook post titled “TAIWAN STRAIT (Nov. 11, 2019).”

The post was accompanied by several photographs showing US Navy personnel using binoculars on the bridge of the cruiser.

Chancellorsville is forward-deployed to the US 7th Fleet area of operations in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” the 7th Fleet said.

The vessel’s transit of the Strait came as US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper yesterday began an Indo-Pacific trip, in which he is to visit South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The ministry that morning said in a statement that it was aware of the US warship’s movement.

“A US Navy ship sailed through the Taiwan Strait southbound heading to the Bashi Channel while conducting freedom of navigation operations,” the ministry said, without giving more details.

The transit by the USS Chancellorsville is the ninth time the US Navy has sailed through the Strait this year and the first since September, the ministry said.

Some analysts have suggested that the transits by US Navy ships send a signal to China as Beijing steps up its pressure campaign against Taiwan.

The Chancellorsville was expected to leave Taiwan’s air defense identification zone before noon yesterday, Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) told reporters before a legislative hearing.

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