TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The United States' guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin sailed through the Taiwan Strait Saturday (Dec. 19) morning in the 12th such passage this year.
Chinese military ships and planes have been passing close by Taiwan on an almost daily basis over the past few months. Flights by the U.S. air force over neighboring stretches of ocean and the passage of military ships through the Taiwan Strait have been interpreted as warnings to China to stop its provocative actions.
The Ministry of National Defense confirmed at 9 a.m. Saturday that a U.S. navy vessel had sailed through the strait from north to south, the Liberty Times reported. The passage was announced by the U.S. navy’s 7th Fleet in a news release which described its mission as a routine transit in accordance with international law.
The sailing “demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” the statement said.
The USS Mustin (DDG-89) is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer based in Yokosuka, Japan. The previous U.S. navy vessel to sail through the Taiwan Strait was another guided-missile destroyer, the USS Barry, on Nov. 21.