US Navy sends two destroyers through Taiwan Strait

US Navy file photo of USS William P. Lawrence (DDG 110)

The US Navy has sailed two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers through the Taiwan Strait on April 28.

The maneuver was carried out by the USS Stethem and USS William P. Lawrence in what a US 7th Fleet spokesperson described as a “routine Taiwan Strait transit, in accordance with international law”.

Sending ships in tandem through the strait appears to be a preferred option as the navy previously sent USS Mustin and USS Benfold in July 2018 and destroyer USS McCampbell and replenishment oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl in January 2019.

All of the last seven known transits in the last eight months including two US Navy ships, with the exception of the March 2019 transit when USS Curtis Wilbur was accompanied by US Coast Guard cutter Bertholf.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Sunday transit had been closely monitored by China, adding that the issue was raised with the United States.

“The Taiwan issue is the most important and sensitive issue in Sino-US relations,” Shuang said.

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