China’s Reaction to U.S. Destroyer Taiwan Strait Transit

The U.S.S. John Finn, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, conducted a Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) in the Taiwan Strait on January 24th.

The United States’ Seventh Fleet released a statement about the transit, saying that the John Finn sailed through the Taiwan Strait in accordance with international law related to freedom of navigation.

Furthermore, the press release also said that the vessel sailed through a corridor the U.S. Navy described as “beyond the territorial sea of any coast.”

China’s Reaction

The People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Eastern Theater Command (ETC) released a statement via WeChat about the John Finn’s transit.

A ETC spokesperson, Colonel Shi Yi, said the command monitored the vessel as it passed through the strait and handled the transit according to laws and regulations. Yi also said that the destroyer’s FONOP is part of the U.S. military’s “frequently carried out provocative actions and maliciously undermined regional peace and stability.”