TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two U.S. Navy warships plowed through the Taiwan Strait on New Year's Eve, marking the 13th passage of U.S. naval vessels through the strait this year and a final act of defiance against China in 2020.
Two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54), sailed through the Taiwan Strait on New Year's Eve, according to the U.S. Naval Institute. The institute's news service, USNI News, described the mission as designed to "push back against excessive maritime claims in the Pacific."
The mission marked the second such transit in three weeks and the 13th for 2020. The U.S. 7th Fleet described the passage as adhering to international law and demonstrating the American commitment to a "free and open Indo-Pacific," according to the report.
The U.S. Navy was then quoted as pledging that the American armed forces will "continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows."
The most recent previous mission took place on Dec. 19, when guided-missile destroyer the USS Mustin steamed through the Taiwan Strait. It was soon followed by China's aircraft carrier the Shandong, which also traversed the strait on its way to the South China Sea.