Another Canadian warship passes through Taiwan Strait

09/10/2019 07:17 PM
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HMCS Ottawa / Image taken from Wikipedia Commons; Public domain files
HMCS Ottawa / Image taken from Wikipedia Commons; Public domain files

Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) and the Canadian representative office in Taipei confirmed Tuesday that a Canadian warship recently sailed through the Taiwan Strait, a rare passage by a non-American military vessel.

The MND did not provide any additional information on the transit through the waterway that separates Taiwan and China, except to say that Taiwan's military was fully aware of the situation and that it was done under Canada's freedom of navigation.

Asked to comment on the transit, the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) identified the vessel as HMCS Ottawa but did not say either when the transit was made.

According to local media reports, however, the vessel passed through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday.

The CTOT, which represents Canadian interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties, said the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has long operated in the Asia Pacific region.

"The most practical route between Pyeongtaek, South Korea and Bangkok, Thailand involves sailing through the Taiwan Strait," it said. Canada's current deployment "is consistent with past RCN practice and international law," the office said.

It is not the first time that a Canadian naval vessel has sailed through the Taiwan Strait in recent months. In June, a Halifax-class frigate HMCS Regina and a naval supply ship Asterix also took that route.

In 2018, when HMCS Calgary, HMCS Chicoutimi and HMCS Vancouver were deployed in the Asia-Pacific region, HMCS Calgary made a transit through the strait in October, according to the Canadian office.

Over the past few months, American warships have made transits through the Strait to demonstrate the United States' commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, but military vessels from other countries have rarely made such moves, to avoid angering Beijing.

A French warship, identified as the frigate Vendemiaire, passed through the Taiwan Strait on April 6 in a rare transit by a European vessel.

(By Joseph Yeh)


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