U.S. Navy Destroyer USS Mustin Transists Taiwan Strait

The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) has transited the strategic Taiwan Strait, which separates Taiwan and China, on August 18, the Navy announced.

The Navy said that Mustin conducted the routine transit from the East China Sea to the South China Sea “in accordance with international law”. U.S. Navy ships routinely transit the strait, there have been 10 transits this year of the Taiwan Strait.

According to local reports, both Taiwan and China dispatched ships to monitor Mustin’s passage through the strategic strait. China reportedly sent a type 052D guided-missile destroyer for the mission, while Taiwan assigned a Cheng Kung class guided-missile frigate.

Like the previous transits, this one will also likely anger China which considers Taiwan as a wayward province of “one China”.

According to the U.S. Navy, Mustin is currently underway conducting operations in the Indo-Pacific region, while assigned to DESRON-15, the Navy’s largest forward-deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force.

The destroyer recently joined Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF)’s Akizuki-class destroyer JS Suzutsuki (DD 117) to conduct integrated operations in the East China Sea.

“We share an enduring commitment to international rules-based order,” said Cmdr. Todd Penrod, commanding officer of USS Mustin on the integrated operations. “Our alliance remains strong, thanks to the close and consistent engagements through integrated operations such as these, which reinforce international norms and stability.”

In May, Mustin’s sister ship USS McCampbell (DDG 85) transited the Taiwan Strait. This marked the second time McCampbell transited the Strait since March. On March 25, the destroyer conducted a similar transit. Another U.S. Navy destroyer, USS Barry (DDG-52) transited the Taiwan Strait twice last month.

Like the previous transits, this one will also likely anger China which considers Taiwan as a wayward province of “one China”.



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