Destroyer Makes First U.S. Warship Taiwan Strait Transit of 2023

46
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) sails through the Taiwan Strait. US Navy Photo

USS Chung-Hoon (DDG-93) made the first Taiwan Strait transit of 2023, the Navy announced Thursday.

Chung-Hoon sailed through the strait Thursday, Lt. Kristina Wiedemann, a spokesperson for the U.S. Navy said in an email. Chinese state-run media did not acknowledge the passage, as of this posting.

The transit was done in accordance with international law and outside of any country’s territorial sea, Wiedemann said in the statement.

Chung-Hoon’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” she said in the statement. “The United States military flies, sails and operates anywhere international law allows.”

The Arleigh-Burke class destroyer is part of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group, and is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet.

Chung-Hoon is part of Destroyer Squadron 9 and is homeported at Naval Base Pearl Harbor.

The transit follows an incident last month in which a Chinese naval fighter had an “unsafe and unprofessional” interaction with a U.S. Air Force surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea. Last week, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force sortied 42 aircraft across the median line of the strait into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) as part of a so-called “strike drill” according to Chinese state media.

Meanwhile, the PLAN is wrapping up a cruise of its Liaoning Carrier Strike Group after a patrol in the Philippine Sea, USNI News reported on Monday.