TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of National Defense (MND) stated Thursday (Feb. 25) that a U.S. Navy ship had sailed through the Taiwan Strait the previous day.
The MND issued a press release Thursday at noon stating that an American naval ship had sailed through the strait from north to south on Wednesday (Feb. 24) and continued in a southward direction.
The U.S. 7th Fleet confirmed that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) had conducted a routine transit through the strait on Wednesday. It stated that the maneuver was in accordance with international law and demonstrated America’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. “The U.S. military will continue to fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows,” it said.
In addition, the 7th Fleet said on Facebook that the Curtis Wilbur had conducted a trilateral replenishment-at-sea with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force replenishment ship JS Hamana (AOE-424) and French Marine Nationale frigate FNS Prairial (F731) in the Western Pacific last Friday (Feb. 19).
The first American naval combat ship to pass through the strait since President Biden took office was the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56), which did so on Feb. 4.
The MND said that U.S. ships perform routine navigation maneuvers through the strait, and the Taiwanese military uses joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to track developments in and around the nation’s maritime border and airspace. The ministry assured the public that the situation around the nation is completely normal.