A US Navy ship on Friday sailed through the Taiwan Strait, marking the ninth time a US military vessel has transited the Strait since US President Joe Biden took office in January.
The USS Barry, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, conducted a “routine” transit through the Strait, the US Navy said in a statement, adding that the journey through international waters was conducted “in accordance with international law.”
“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the US Navy said. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.”
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday confirmed the transit, saying the US destroyer sailed from north to south through the Strait.
The ministry said it has a grasp of the situation and uses joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tools to monitor the waters and airspace around Taiwan.
The situation was “normal” while the ship traveled through the Strait, it added.
The destroyer was in the Strait on the same day that 10 Chinese military aircraft flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone.
It was the 15th consecutive day that Chinese military aircraft had entered the area.
The military maneuvers are seen by some as a way for Beijing to indicate its displeasure with Taipei and warn against actions it sees as jeopardizing its hopes of annexing Taiwan.
Taipei considers such moves military threats.
On Aug. 27, the USS Kidd, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, accompanied by the USCGC Munro, conducted what the US Navy called “routine transits” through the Strait.
The USS John S. McCain sailed through the Strait on Feb. 4 and April 7; the USS Curtis Wilbur on Feb. 24, May 18 and June 22; the USS John Finn on March 10; and the USS Benfold on July 28.
The most recent passage came as Taiwan concluded its annual Han Kuang military exercises and China conducted military exercises in waters near Taiwan’s southwest coast.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had on Friday conducted a military drill in waters off southwestern Taiwan and in the skies over the area, the PLA’s official newspaper reported yesterday, citing Shi Yi (施毅), a spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command.
Shi did not provide specific information regarding the location of the exercise, saying only that the PLA had deployed naval vessels, early warning aircraft and bombers.
The Ministry of National Defense said that Taiwan had a “thorough grasp and assessment” of China’s military exercises.
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