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China slams Britain for sailing war vessel through Taiwan Strait

September 27, 2021
File photo of HMS Richmond
File photo of HMS Richmond

BEIJING — China on Monday said its military followed and warned a British warship that sailed through the Taiwan Strait, slamming the move as an act that "harbored evil intentions."

The Chinese military followed the HMS Richmond as the vessel navigated through the Taiwan Strait, it said in a statement, highlighting that Chinese forces "maintain a high level of alert to resolutely counter all threats and provocations."

Transport movements through the strategic waterway are met with opposition from Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory.

The ship had been taking part in a UN sanctions enforcement operation against North Korea. US ships sail regularly in the Taiwan Strait but this is a British ship's first transit since 2008

HMS Richmond, a frigate deployed with Britain's aircraft carrier strike group, sailed through the strait on a trip from Japan to Vietnam, Britain's Defense Ministry said.

A post on the ship's Twitter account said HMS Richmond passed through the strait en route to Vietnam. It had been deployed in the East China Sea while taking part in United Nations sanctions enforcement operations against North Korea.

"Wherever the Royal Navy operate, they do so in full compliance with international law," the UK's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

"The UK has a range of enduring security interests in the Indo-Pacific and many important bilateral defense relationships, this deployment is a sign of our commitment to regional security," it added.

Relations between Beijing and London are already strained over a long list of issues, from trade to human rights. — Agencies


September 27, 2021
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