A U.S. guided-missile destroyer transited the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday following an exercise with Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces, U.S. 7th Fleet said in a statement to USNI News.
USS Mustin (DDG-89), operating as part of the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group, transited the strait as USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) operated in the South China Sea.
“Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit Aug. 18 in accordance with international law. The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows,” reads the statement from U.S. 7th Fleet.
According to Taiwan-based United Daily News, Mustin was monitored by Chinese and Taiwan warships during the transit.
In June, destroyer USS Russell (DDG-59) made the transit shortly after the second Chinese aircraft carrier left for sea trials.
The passage through the strait came two days after Mustin and the Akizuki-class guided-missile destroyer JS Suzutsuki (DD-117) operated together in the East China Sea.
“Suzutsuki and Mustin operated and trained together conducting integrated helicopter operations, multi-domain tactical training, as well as communication and formation drills,” read a statement from 7th Fleet.
The U.S. has maintained a steady presence in the South China Sea over the last several months during the global pandemic.
Carrier Reagan has been underway in the Western Pacific since June and drilled with carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in July.