British warship passing through Taiwan Strait
Taipei, Sept. 27 (CNA) British Royal Navy warship HMS Richmond was passing through the Taiwan Strait on Monday morning, according to a tweet from the frigate.
"After a busy period working with partners and allies in the East China Sea, we are now en route through the Taiwan Strait to visit Vietnam and the Vietnam People's Navy," the tweet said.
The Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy is one of the warships deployed with the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and her task group on a global mission that will take them 26,000 nautical miles to more than 40 countries.
The aircraft carrier and task group previously made a port call to Yokohama Japan earlier this month.
The British embassy in Tokyo said at the time that the deployment was "a powerful demonstration of the U.K.'s close and enduring partnership with Japan and the U.K.'s commitment to maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region."
The passing through of the HMS Richmond also came a week after Admiral Tony Radakin, first sea lord and chief of naval staff of the British Royal Navy, told Nikkei Asia that the Taiwan Strait is "international waters," reiterating that the waterway can be used by any nation, and not just by China.
Asked to comment, Taiwan's Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said in Taipei that he was not aware of the exact mission of the British warship that was passing through the Taiwan Strait.
He indicated, however, that the country's armed forces have a clear grasp of all foreign vessels operating near the island and will not intervene in their passage.
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