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International Naval Forces Assert Freedom of Navigation in the Taiwan Strait

freedom of navigation
The USS Ralph Johnson and HMCS Ottawa conducted a joint transit through the Taiwan Strait, underscoring international commitment to freedom of navigation principles. (PHOTO: Policy Forum)

US and Canadian Warships Assert ‘Freedom of Navigation’ in Taiwan Strait Amid Rising Tensions

The USS Ralph Johnson and HMCS Ottawa conducted a joint transit through the Taiwan Strait, underscoring international commitment to freedom of navigation principles, following joint drills with Japanese ships.

freedom of navigation

The USS Ralph Johnson and HMCS Ottawa conducted a joint transit through the Taiwan Strait, underscoring international commitment to freedom of navigation principles. (PHOTO: East Asia Forum)

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US and Canadian Navies Demonstrate Commitment to ‘Freedom of Navigation’ with Taiwan Strait Transit

In a notable display of international solidarity and commitment to the principles of freedom of navigation, an American guided-missile destroyer, the USS Ralph Johnson (DDG-114), and a Royal Canadian Navy frigate, the HMCS Ottawa (FFH-341), conducted a joint transit through the Taiwan Strait, as announced by the U.S. 7th Fleet. The passage of these naval vessels through the Taiwan Strait comes after their participation in joint drills with Japanese ships in the East China Sea and near Okinawa.

According to a published article in USNI, this coordinated maneuver emphasizes the United States and its allies’ dedication to maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The statement from the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet noted that the transit occurred within a corridor in the strait that falls outside the territorial waters of any coastal state. The term “freedom of navigation” underscores their commitment to international law and maritime norms.

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PLA Navy Shadowed US and Canadian Warships in East China Sea During ‘Freedom of Navigation’ Drills

The naval exercise earlier in the week involved not only the USS Ralph Johnson and HMCS Ottawa but also Japanese ships, including the helicopter carrier JS Izumo (DDH-183) and destroyer JS Samidare (DD-106). During this “freedom of navigation” exercise, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation crew aboard the HMCS Ottawa captured footage of a People’s Liberation Army Navy guided-missile destroyer, the Type 052D Luyang III, identified as CNS Hohhot (161), shadowing the formation closely in the East China Sea.

While it remains uncertain if the CNS Hohhot continued to trail the USS Ralph Johnson and HMCS Ottawa during their Taiwan Strait transit, this event underscores the ongoing tensions in the region and the strategic significance of the Taiwan Strait in the broader geopolitical landscape. The transit serves as a visible demonstration of international “freedom of navigation” commitment to preserving the stability and openness of this vital maritime corridor.

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