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U.S. Navy destroyer passes through Taiwan Strait 

Saturday’s Sankei wrote that a U.S. 7th Fleet spokesperson announced that the USS John S. McCain passed through the Taiwan Strait on Feb. 4. The paper said this was the first time for a U.S. Navy vessel to transit the waterway since the launch of the Biden administration. The spokesperson reportedly said the move demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific and that the U.S. military will continue to fly, sail, and operate anywhere international law allows. In response, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters that China will continue to maintain a high level of alert, respond to any provocations, and resolutely defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

 

In a related development, Sunday’s Sankei wrote that the 7th Fleet announced that the USS John S. McCain conducted a freedom of navigation operation near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on Feb. 5. The paper wrote that this was the first time for the Navy to conduct such an operation in waters near the islands since the launch of the Biden administration.  

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