Two U.S. Navy Ships Sail Through Taiwan Strait for Third Time This Year

Two U.S. Navy vessels – one warship and one supply ship – sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Nov. 28, according to Taiwan’s defence ministry.

The Navy ships were identified as USS Stockdale (DDG 106), an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, and USNS Pecos (T-AO-197), a Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler.

The Taiwan Strait, or Formosa Strait, is a 180 kilometres (110 mi)-wide strait separating the island of Taiwan from mainland China. The transit came just days ahead of a planned meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

This transit is the third one by U.S. Navy vessels this year and came five weeks after the last transit.

In October, USS Antietam (CG-54), a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, and USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG-54), an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, sailed through the Strait. The first transit this year happened in July when two destroyers, USS Mustin (DDG-89) and USS Benfold (DDG-65), sailed between mainland China and Taiwan.

Some American military officials believe that a transit of the strait by a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier is long overdue. The last time a U.S. carrier passed through the strait was in 2007, during the George W. Bush administration, when supercarrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) and its battle group sailed through the waterway.

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