TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A British warship from the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Monday (Sept. 27) as it headed towards Vietnam to rendezvous with the Vietnamese navy.
On its Twitter account on Monday, the HMS Richmond, a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy, announced that it was passing through the Taiwan Strait on its way to Vietnam to link up with the Vietnam People's Navy. According to the HMS Richmond, which is part of the United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) led by the HMS Queen Elizabeth, it had just finished a "busy period working with partners and allies in the East China Sea."
In the aftermath of Brexit, the U.K. has sought to strengthen its presence in the Indo-Pacific Region and stepped up defense and security cooperation with Japan. On Sept. 4, the HMS Queen Elizabeth made its first port call in Japan following exercises with Japanese Self Defence Forces and US Forces Japan in August.
In an interview with Nikkei Asia, Tony Radakin, a senior Royal Navy admiral, said that it is abundantly clear that the Taiwan Strait is "part of the free and open Indo-Pacific." He added that it is "very clear that the Taiwan Strait is international waters" and asserted that it is a "waterway that can be used by different nations."
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. #CSG21 International by design pic.twitter.com/0bys9eYY42— HMS Richmond (@HMS_Richmond) September 26, 2021