Marking the third deployment of its kind, the US Navy recently announced that its USS John Finn warship has been ordered to transit the Taiwan Strait as part of the Land of the Free’s multiple freedom of navigation operations in the region.
The service’s 7th Fleet detailed that the mission was a “routine transit” that was being carried out as part of the nation’s “commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.” The specified warship is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer fitted with various weapons, including Harpoon anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine warfare torpedoes.
Incidentally, the operation came only days after a US admiral informed congressional lawmakers on Tuesday that China was planning to overtake Taiwan at some point over the “next six years.” It’s worth noting that Beijing has long viewed Taiwan as a wayward province in need of being brought back into the Chinese mainland’s fold.
China has since firmly rejected the military official’s claims. Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, accused the US of using the unsubstantiated remarks as a means to “hype up China’s military threat.”