Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) performed a routine Taiwan Strait transit on January 5, becoming the first US warship to do so in 2023.
The service said the destroyer sailed through waters where high-seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law.
The transit is part of the US Navy’s freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs), with which it challenges countries’ excessive maritime claims.
“The ship transited through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State. Chung-Hoon’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said.
USS Chung-Hoon is operating in the US 7th Fleet part of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group. Homeported at Naval Base Pearl Harbor, the ship is assigned to Destroyer Squadron 9.
The Taiwan Strait transit follows an encounter between a Chinese (PLA) Navy J-11 fighter and a US Air Force RC-135 aircraft over the South China Sea last month, which the US described as unsafe.
The PLAN pilot flew in front of and within 20 feet of the nose of the RC-135, forcing the RC-135 to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision, according to the US Pacific Command.