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US Navy Third Time In Four Months US Warships Transit Tense Taiwan Strait

US Navy Third Time In Four Months US Warships Transit Tense Taiwan Strait –

A U.S. warship and fleet replenishment oiler conducted the third transit through the Taiwan Strait in four months as tensions between Taiwan and China are on the rise.


Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG-85) and Henry Kaiser-class oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl (T-AO-193) steamed through the 110-mile-wide body of water separating Taiwan from mainland China in what the U.S. Navy described as a “routine passage,” Navy officials confirmed to USNI News.


“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman told USNI News in an email.


Thursday’s mission was different from other recent Navy freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) missions.

  • In October, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54) and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG-54) passed through the sea lane.
  • A month later, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG-106) and Henry Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO-197) steamed through the same shipping lane.


China maintains a policy of insisting foreign warships ask permission and provide advance notice of their intent to transit through its territorial waters.

However, China’s policy is not in accordance with international maritime law, according to a Tufts Univesity Law of the Sea Policy Primer. Since international maritime law does not require advance notice, the U.S Navy does not honor China’s request, which generally irritates the Chinese government.


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