The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit December 31 (local time) in accordance with international law. The ships’ 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 wherever international law allows. The U.S. Navy said in statement that the transit through the strategic strait, which separates Taiwan and China, was in accordance with international law.
Earlier this month, U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) conducted a routine transit through the strategic strait. Like the previous transits by U.S. Navy vessels through the strait, this one will also likely anger China which considers Taiwan as a wayward province of “one China”. John S. McCain and Curtis Wilbur are underway conducting operations in the Indo-Pacific, while assigned to Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. On Dec. 22, McCain performed a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands, which Taiwan, China and Vietnam have all claimed as their own.