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U.S. Navy Sends Destroyer Through Taiwan Strait Days After China Wraps Up Military Drills

By Jen Snow
April 18, 2023
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As part of a "freedom of navigation" exercise, the U.S. Navy sent the USS Milius, a guided-missile destroyer, through the Taiwan Strait days after China ended its large-scale military exercise in the waters around Taiwan.

The USS Milius conducted a "routine Taiwan Strait transit" through waters "where high-seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law," the Navy's 7th Fleet said of the passage.

On April 8, Beijing kicked off a 3-day military drill that simulated targeted strikes and an island blockade, according to a report from Zerohedge. The exercises were in response to a meeting in California between Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

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According to the Navy, "The ship transited through a corridor in the Strait beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State." The Navy also noted that the passage also confirmed the U.S. commitment to a free and open Asia-Pacific region.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese military announced that it was monitoring the destroyer's movements.

The Command's spokesperson Shi Yilu said that Beijing is ready at any time to "resolutely safeguard the country's sovereignty, safety, and regional peace and stability."

While the U.S. and China continue to exchange shows of military prowess with one another, Taiwan has reported continued Chinese harassment as it has detected 18 Chinese military combat aircraft and 4 naval vessels operating in its waters.

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Jen Snow

Jen Snow is a former paralegal turned freelance writer who has a passion for foreign affairs. When not writing, she can be found curled up with her dog and a good book or outside playing in the Florida sun.
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