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Canada confirms naval vessels pass through Taiwan Strait

2019/06/20 11:42:37

Canada's Halifax-class frigate HMCS Regina / Image taken from Wikipedia Commons; Public domain files

Taipei, June 20 (CNA) The Canadian representative office in Taiwan confirmed Thursday that two of its Naval vessels recently transited through the Taiwan Strait, noting that the passages were in line with its long-term Naval practice and international law.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said a day earlier that a number of Canadian warships recently sailed through the strategic waterway that separates Taiwan and China, a rare move made by a non-U.S. military vessel through the waterway. Local media said the transits were made Tuesday.

Asked to comment, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) confirmed the passage, identifying the two vessels as the Halifax-class frigate HMCS Regina and Naval supply ship Asterix.

The two vessels recently completed a visit to Vietnam's Cam Ranh Bay to strengthen defense and security relations with regional partners, including Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states.

To participate in Canada's contribution to a multinational effort to counter North Korea's evasion of U.N. Security Council sanctions by maritime smuggling, the vessels had to transit from Cam Ranh Bay to Northeast Asia.

"The most practical route between Cam Ranh Bay and Northeast Asia involves sailing through the Taiwan Strait. Transit through the Taiwan Strait is not related to making any statement," the CTOT said.

The de facto Canadian embassy in Taiwan said the deployment is consistent with past Royal Canadian Navy practice and international law.

The office said this is not the first time of such transit passages for Canadian naval vessels. In 2018, HMCS Calgary, HMCS Chicoutimi and HMCS Vancouver operated throughout the Asia-Pacific region. During those activities, HMCS Calgary made a transit through the strait in October, it added.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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