US Warship Sails Through China Sea
The Navy's move supports freedom of navigation in waters in the Pacific region and its national security.
The USS Mustin, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, sailed through the Taiwan Strait yesterday, the 12th time this year that a US warship transited the waterway.
The US 7th Fleet said in a statement that the Mustin conducted a routine transit in accordance with international law. The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US 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 read.
Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense informed that the US vessel entered the Strait from the north and headed south.
The transits show that the US would not tolerate China’s behavior of circling Taiwan’s territorial waters and airspace with warships and military aircraft, or its attempt to transform the Strait into Chinese territory, he said.
US and Communist China are competing for influence in the Pacific region
US warships sailed through the Strait nine times last year.
Institute for National Defense and Security Research assistant research fellow Jeremy Hung stated that the higher number of US transits this year reflects the US versus Communist China competition for influence in the region.
In addition to warships, US military aircraft have also carried out more fly-bys in the airspace with their identification friend or foe systems turned on, a move that is calculated to telegraph their presence to other countries and send a political message, he commented.