On Tuesday the U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) transited the Taiwan Strait, which runs between the island nation of Taiwan and mainland China.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command announced the warship’s transit in a statement Tuesday night and said, “The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The United States military flies, sails, and operates anywhere international law allows.
USNI News reported this is the sixth time a U.S. warship has transited the Taiwan Strait since President Joe Biden took office in January.
The U.S. warship’s passage through the waterway prompted criticism from China’s military. On Wednesday, Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Snr. Col. Zhang Chunhui, a spokesperson for the Chinese PLA’s Eastern Theater Command (ETC), said, “The US played the old trick to provoke troubles in the Taiwan Strait, deliberately disrupted and undermined the regional security situation, and jeopardized the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, which fully manifested that the US is the biggest troublemaker for the regional security. China is firmly opposed to that.”
Zhang also said PLA air and naval forces will track the path of the U.S. warship as it passes near Taiwan and the Eastern Theater Command will stay on high alert “to respond to all threats and provocations.”