Canada made a daring move against China on Tuesday when a Canadian warship passed through the Taiwan Strait from the South China Sea, before heading toward the East China Sea. The warship’s passage from the three bodies of water is a clear defiance of China which claims exclusive ownership of these bodies of water.
Taiwanese netizens on the online forum PTT first commented about the transit of the Canadian Halifax-class frigate HMCS Regina (FFH 334) through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday, Taiwan News reported. The website MarineTraffic too tracked the warship.
Canada-China ties became tense after Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou’s arrest on US fraud charges in Vancouver last December and China detaining two Canadians on suspicion of espionage shortly after in retaliation. China has also restricted imports of Canadian pork and canola seeds.
NHK World-Japan reported that Taiwan’s defense ministry has said it was the first time for a Canadian navy vessel to pass through the strait. Officials said that the Canadian navy’s frigate Regina and a supply ship had sailed in the strait.
In June, Canada deployed ships under Operation NEON to ensure sanctions are imposed against North Korea. These ships include Halifax-class frigate HMCS Regina (FFH 334) that patrolled in the Taiwan Strait.
In a post on its Facebook page on June 9, Royal Canadian Navy said it had deployed ships and aircraft for Operation NEON. “Our modernized Halifax-class vessels and Aurora aircraft are working near Northeast Asia as part of Operation NEON this month. We are conducting surveillance operations alongside allies and partners, enforcing UNSC sanctions on North Korea and contributing to security and stability in the region,” it said.