TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday (Oct. 14), marking the 10th voyage of a U.S. warship through the strait this year.
The destroyer sailed from south to north through the Taiwan Strait before continuing on a northerly course, according to a statement released by Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening. The MND said that it had closely monitored the movements of the vessel throughout its passage and that the situation was normal.
On its official website, the U.S. Navy that day announced that the warship was the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52). It stated that the ship had conducted a "routine Taiwan Strait transit" that was "in accordance with the law."
The maritime service claimed that the destroyer's passage "demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific." It then vowed that it will "continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows."
On its official Facebook page, the USS Barry announced that since Oct. 13, 1775, the U.S. Navy has "stood the watch ensuring freedom and democracy around the world." The post declared that by sailing and operating wherever international law allows, the warship is continuing the Navy's "strong history" and "remains committed to protecting the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea, and the ability of all countries to exercise those rights."
Two days before the USS Barry's passage, the U.S. Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force began a joint exercise in the South China Sea. The Japanese sent the large helicopter carrier JS Kaga (DDH-184) to participate, and the US. dispatched the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56).
The last time a U.S. warship passed through the Taiwan Strait was on Aug. 31, when Czech Senate President Milos Vystrcil and his delegation were visiting Taiwan. On that day, the MND reported that a U.S. destroyer had sailed through the Taiwan Strait from north to south, and the U.S. Navy identified the ship as the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey.