The US Indo-Pacific Command (US INDOPACOM) has announced the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur’s (DDG-54) transit through the Taiwan Strait.
The destroyer conducted the routine Taiwan Strait transit on 24 February in accordance with international law.
The transit demonstrates the commitment of the US military towards a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’.
According to INDOPACOM, the US military will continue ‘to fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows’.
USS Curtis Wilbur is assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, which is the US Navy’s largest forward deployed DESRON and the US 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.
The passage follows a routine Taiwan Strait transit conducted by USS John S McCain (DDG 56) on 4 February. After the transit, the destroyer preformed a freedom of navigation operation in the Paracel Islands vicinity.
The US naval ships regularly conduct the Taiwan strait transit.
In December last year, the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) successfully conducted transit through the Taiwan Strait.
Meanwhile, the routine passage was strongly opposed by China.
In a statement, China’s People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theatre Command spokesman said the Chinese military deployed naval units and aircraft to track the vessel.
The spokesman said that the US warship sail ‘undermined regional peace and stability’.