US Navy ship sails through Taiwan Strait

The US Navy continues to carry out freedom of navigation operations across the region

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USS McCampbell (US Pacific Fleet photo)

USS McCampbell (US Pacific Fleet photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A U.S. Navy ship sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday (March 25), marking the third passage this year.

The USS McCampbell (DDG 85), a guided-missile destroyer, passed through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, said the U.S. Pacific Fleet via social media. The U.S. Navy has carried out freedom of navigation operations across the region over the years, and this is the third such trip this year.

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said on Thursday (March 26) the military had closely monitored the situation and did not detect any anomaly. The U.S. ship sailed northward from waters in the southwest of Taiwan, it said.

Dozens of countries across the world have been hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for the last two months. Nevertheless, military activities in the region have not slowed down.

A USS Barry destroyer (DDG-52) launched a missile during a live-fire exercise in the Philippine Sea on March 19. This came three days after several Chinese aircraft conducted an exercise off the southwest coast of Taiwan.

On Wednesday, a US Navy EP-3E signals intelligence aircraft reportedly carried out an operation off the southwest coast of Taiwan. According to Aircraft Spots, the U.S. military has carried out a number of operations in the South China Sea this month, including a signals intelligence aircraft that flew near Hong Kong on March 18.

The island nation has also carried out a number of military exercises across the island in the past week. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), speaking at an army base in Tainan on Tuesday morning (March 24), called on the military to maintain its state of combat readiness while carrying out coronavirus prevention tasks.