U.S. warship transits Taiwan Strait, the first in Biden's presidency

02/04/2021 05:45 PM
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Photo from c7f.navy.mil
Photo from c7f.navy.mil

Taipei, Feb. 4 (CNA) A United States Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer on Thursday transited through the Taiwan Strait, the first by a U.S. warship since Joe Biden was inaugurated as president on Jan. 20.

"An American warship sailed from north to south through the Taiwan Strait," Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said in a statement, without naming the ship.

The ministry said it monitored the vessels' movements and the situation in the surrounding area remains normal.

Meanwhile, according to a separate press release by the U.S. 7th Fleet, the destroyer referred to by the MND was the USS John S. McCain.

"The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit Feb. 4 (local time) in accordance with international law," the U.S. 7th Fleet said.

"The ship's transit through the Taiwan Strait 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," it added.

U.S. Navy ships have increasingly transited through the strait, which is considered a potential hotspot for armed conflict in the region by security analysts, following frequent Chinese military maneuvers near Taiwan in recent years.

Prior to this voyage, the USS John S. McCain passed through the Taiwan Strait on Dec. 31, 2020, along with the USS Curtis Wilbur, of the same class, according to MND records.

On Dec. 19, 2020, the USS Mustin, another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, sailed through the Taiwan Strait.

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are built around the Aegis Combat System and the SPY-1D multifunction passive electronically scanned array radar.

(By Matt Yu and Emerson Lim)

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