US Navy ship conducts routine transit of Taiwan Strait

A US Navy destroyer sailed through international waters in the Taiwan Strait yesterday, May 8, and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) accused the US of “hype and provocation.”

According to a press release by the US 7th Fleet Public Affairs, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) conducted a routine transit through international waters “through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state,” Wednesday.

“Halsey’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to upholding freedom of navigation for all nations as a principle. No member of the international community should be intimidated or coerced into giving up their rights and freedoms. The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows.”

At the time of writing the only English language news outlet to report the transit is US Naval Institute News. However, China’s Ministry of Defense accused the US of publicly hyping the maneuver. “The guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey sailed through the Taiwan Strait on May 8 and hyped it publicly,” a PLA press release stated.

“The Chinese PLA Eastern Theater Command slammed the US’s provocative move in a written statement released on Wednesday,” read a statement on China’s Ministry of Defense website. The statement also noted that the PLA Eastern Theater Command had “organized naval and air forces to track monitor and deal with the US destroyer’s transit operation according to law and regulations.”

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