USS Higgins (DDG-76) conducted a Taiwan Strait transit on Tuesday, the Navy announced.
Higgins performed the transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate HMCS Vancouver (FFH-331), according to a Tuesday Navy news release.
The strait transit was done outside of any territorial waters, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said during a Tuesday press briefing.
Higgins and Vancouver conducted a routine transit “in accordance with international law,” according to the Navy release.
“Higgins’ and Vancouver’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to the release. “Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region.”
This is the second Taiwan Strait transit since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) visited the island. The last transit took place on Aug. 29, when USS Antietam (CG-54) and USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) sailed through the strait.
China criticized the strait transit at the time and called the two Ticonderoga-class cruisers old. China has not yet commented on Higgins‘ transit.
However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning warned the U.S. against overt support for Taiwan after President Joe Biden said the U.S. would defend Taiwan.
“China deplores and firmly opposes the remarks made by the US president and has made stern representations with the US,” Mao said, according to an article in state-run People’s Daily.