A US Navy destroyer transited the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, the fifth time a US warship has navigated the waterway since US President Joe Biden assumed office in January.
“The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit May 18 (local time) 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 7th Fleet said in a statement.
“The United States military will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” it said.
US warships, all Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers, had made similar passages since Biden took office on Jan. 20: the USS John S. McCain on Feb. 4 and April 17, the USS Curtis Wilbur on Feb. 24, and the USS John Finn on March 10.
The US has sent warships into the region in the past few years to counter China’s growing military presence in the South China Sea and neighboring waters, and show its continued commitment to Asia.
The Ministry of National Defense yesterday confirmed the passage of a US Navy destroyer through the Strait from north to south the previous day.
It said that during the ship’s passage, the military used joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tools to monitor movements at sea and in the air around Taiwan, and described the situation as normal.
The US Pacific Fleet posted a message on Facebook yesterday saying that the US 7th Fleet aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force guided-missile destroyer JS Maya sailed together during a training exercise in the Philippine Sea.
The post had several photographs attached and bore the hashtag #NavyPartnerships followed by Japanese and US flags.
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