The transit was the second in a month by a US Navy ship, and the second jointly by the United States and Canada in less than a year, since October 2021…reports Asian Lite News
A US Navy warship and a Canadian frigate made a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, the militaries of both nations said, at a time of heightened military tension between Beijing and Taipei.
The transit was the second in a month by a US Navy ship, and the second jointly by the United States and Canada in less than a year, since October 2021.
While China condemned the mission, saying its forces “warned” the ships, recent years have seen US warships, and occasionally those of allied nations such as Britain and Canada, routinely sail through the strait.
Such trips anger China, which claims Taiwan over the objections of the island’s democratically elected government.
“Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” the US Navy said in a statement.
The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer Higgins and the Royal Canadian Navy’s Halifax-class frigate Vancouver made the transit through a corridor in the strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal state, it added.
Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand said that as a Pacific nation, her country was deeply committed to upholding global stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Today’s routine Taiwan Strait transit demonstrates our commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” she said in a statement.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry welcomed the action.
“This operation though the Taiwan Strait is, even more, a concrete demonstration of the resolute opposition of democratic allies to China’s expansion attempts,” it said.
The Eastern Theatre Command of China’s People’s Liberation Army said its forces monitored the ships and “warned them.”
“Theatre forces are always on high alert, resolutely counter all threats and provocations, and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” it said in a statement, employing its usual phrasing for such responses.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said the ships sailed north through the waterway and its forces observed the mission but “the situation was as normal.”
A visit to Taiwan early in August by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi enraged China, which subsequently launched military drills near the island that have continued, although on a much reduced scale.
The narrow Taiwan Strait has been a frequent source of military tension since the defeated Republic of China government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the communists, who established the People’s Republic of China.
4 Chinese naval ships shadow
Four Chinese warships and possibly a Taiwanese military ship shadowed a US Navy guided-missile destroyer and a Royal Canadian Navy frigate as they patrolled the Taiwan Strait.
An independent journalist, Duan Dong posted an image on Twitter from the Sentinel-2 satellite taken at 2:52 Coordinated Universal Time. Duan said that four of the ships were from the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
In the image, two PLAN ships can be seen sailing on the opposite side of the median line from the HMCS Vancouver and USS Higgins. Behind the Higgins are three other warships, one just to the east of the median line and two others to the south of the American warship.
Duan said that at least one of the PLAN ships was a Type 054A frigate. He judged that it was likely that the other three were also frigates.
Given that the MND only announced four PLAN ships, the fifth ship seen trailing the US and Canadian vessels in the satellite image could be from the Taiwan Navy.