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US, Chinese warships patrol same area near Taiwan

Chinese and American destroyers prowled near southeast Taiwan simultaneously on Thursday

USS John Finn (left), PLAN Jinan. ( and Wikimedia Commons photos)

USS John Finn (left), PLAN Jinan. ( and Wikimedia Commons photos)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese destroyer was spotted prowling near its American counterpart off the southeast coast of Taiwan Thursday (March 11).

The U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet on Wednesday (March 10) announced that the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John Finn had carried out a "routine Taiwan Strait transit" that day "in accordance with international law." Thursday morning (March 11), Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND), confirmed that the U.S. destroyer had sailed through the Taiwan Strait from north to south.

After the USS John Finn passed through the strait, it was on Thursday detected heading east through the Bashi Channel, according to a Taiwanese military source who spoke to CNA. By noon that day, the warship was spotted 40 miles southeast of Orchid Island, and at the same time, People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Type 052C destroyer the Jinan appeared nearby.

The military source was uncertain as to why both U.S. and Chinese warships had appeared in the same area simultaneously. Although artillery drills were being held in the area by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, the source did not believe the foreign vessels' movements were related to the exercises.

The two ships reportedly continued to sail eastward that evening before disappearing from Taiwanese military surveillance sensors at 8 p.m. When asked by Taiwan News whether it could confirm the presence of the warships, the MND said it would not comment on the incident other than to say that it had used joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to monitor movements at sea and in the air around the country and that the situation was normal.

Updated : 2022-01-25 05:01 GMT+08:00