Canadian frigate HMCS Regina (shown in 2013) along with a supply ship sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday. (David Hooper-US Navy)

China-Canada tension: Canadian warship through Taiwan Strait

With Chinese and Canadian diplomatic relations running cold, Canada has sent a warship into waters China claims as its own.

It’s the first such move since relations took a serious nosedive after Canada arrested a Huawei executive on an extradition request from the U.S.

Claiming it was simply the shortest route and there are no political motives, a Canadian warship and its supply vessel sailed through the Taiwan Strait this week.  A Canadian spokesperson for the Department of Defence said, “Transit through the Taiwan Strait is not related to making any statement.”

China has long claimed Taiwan as a part of China and the sea between as part of Chinese waters and insists foreign vessels need its permission to sail through.

The route of HMCS Regina as it transited through the strait. Normally warships do not turn on their tracking signal, (Marine Traffic)

Others are saying it was a “freedom of navigation” move designed to challenge China’s claim. The U.S. has insisted these waters are international and has been sending warships through to reinforce that position. They have also been encouraging allies to send ships through as well to reinforce the challenge o China’s claim.

Guy Saint-Jacques, the former Canadian ambassador to China is quoted in the Globe and Mail saying, ““It sends the signal that Canada is aligning with the U.S. and with other countries like Australia and France that have sent ships to the Taiwan Strait – that freedom of navigation is important and that we don’t recognize Chinese claims to sovereignty in that part of the world.”

The two Canadian ships had been in Vietnam and were heading to Operation Neon mission to ensure U.N. sanctions are being enforced against N. Korea

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