HMS Richmond, a Type 23 Frigate, has sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on enroute to Vietnam to demonstrate freedom of navigation, in a move likely to anger Beijing.

There are currently amid heightened tensions between China and Taiwan. China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has stepped up military and political pressure to force the democratically ruled island to accept Chinese sovereignty.

While U.S. warships pass through the strait on an almost monthly basis, despite Chinese opposition, the Royal Navy has not done so since 2019.

Earlier this month First Sea Lord Tony Radakin told Nikkei Asia that it was “very clear that the Taiwan Strait is international waters. It is a waterway that can be used by different nations.”

Back in 2018, assault ship HMS Albion was challenged by a Chinese frigate and two helicopters during freedom of navigation exercise in the nearby but equally disputed South China Sea. Local media reported that both sides remained calm during the encounter and the Royal Navy assault ship continued on course despite protests from China.

China has previously warned the West “not to play with fire” on Taiwan issues  and demanding “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”.

Earlier in the month, HMS Richmond captured evidence of ships apparently breaching United Nations sanctions targeting North Korea’s Weapons of Mass Destruction and ballistic missile programmes.

British warship enforces North Korea sanctions

Why is HMS Richmond there?

The frigate is part of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group. Over the last month HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group has been conducting a series of exercises with the Japanese, United States and the Republic of Korea, separate to sanctions enforcement, you can read more about that at the Royal Navy website here.

HMS Queen Elizabeth sailing her Carrier Strike Group.

The Royal Navy say that HMS Richmond is now currently alongside in Japan undertaking a planned routine maintenance programme before resuming operations and defence engagement with the Carrier Strike Group.

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Pete
Pete
16 days ago

Wonder if a few of the mushroom caps were removed 🤔.

Assume they would transit in daylight!

Mac
Mac
16 days ago
Reply to  Pete

You don’t actually think they need to remove them before firing, do you?

Shirley you can’t be serious…😉

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Mac

😁

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Mac

i never found Shirley to be a serious girl.

Tommo
Tommo
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Very Airplane 1 and 2 very unpolitically correct Movies but boy were they funny

Jonathan
Jonathan
14 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Surely you can’t be serious…..

I am serious and don’t call mr Shirley.

Tommo
Tommo
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

CLASSIC I doubt if a remake would be as funny

ash
ash
13 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

couldn’t possibly be, the late great Leslie Nielsen with his deadpan delivery was the secret sauce.

Tommo
Tommo
9 days ago
Reply to  ash

Strange how he went from Forebidden planet to Straight faced Comedy exactly deadpan humour Can’t see the likes of Danny dyer pulling off with such panache maybe Colin Firth ?

Pete
Pete
16 days ago
Reply to  Mac

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2txH6FjnzI0

Watch the video at the very start and freeze it . I don’t know if they have to .. but I haven’t yet seen a video where they haven’t.

Someone on this forum did once say they need a spanner to remove them…I couldn’t believe it then started looking at videos closely.

Anyone better informed can comment!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago

First part of article says Richmond is going to Vietnam via Taiwan straight and last paragraph RN says she is “now currently alongside in Japan” That is the wrong direction and by my reading she has come from there.

So has she been to Vietnam already and returned?

Andrew
Andrew
16 days ago

It’s a new tactic to confuse the Chinese!

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago

From the horse’s mouth: https://twitter.com/HMS_Richmond/status/1442189189320151047

Edit: just realised this was liked in the article aha – I blame a sleepless night!

Last edited 16 days ago by Lusty
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
16 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Morning mate. 😉

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago

Morning.😂

Last edited 16 days ago by Lusty
SafetyConcious
SafetyConcious
16 days ago

I think Del Boy was right. Half the time our own country do not know where their ships and submarines are .

Gareth
Gareth
16 days ago

In that twitter photo she is not carrying any Harpoons. Surely the navy can spare a few for an actual deployment??

Reaper
Reaper
16 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Isnt it only Kent that has harpoons out of all our ships?

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

I believe only Montrose and Kent have them fitted currently. One of those two, HMS Kent has them fitted for this deployment. The other escorts have to rely on their Wildcat for the provision of anti-ship missiles.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

It would seem ,that Richmond has been an Agent provocator .First checking how Kim Jong gets his Slimming pills through UN sanctions, And now sticking two fingers up tòo China’s false claim of ownership of International waters, I just wonder whether Richmond was in 3 Yankee or Zulu, ,Alpha, tropical rig or full Anti Flash hoods up ?

David Barry
David Barry
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Whatever rig they are wearing, do they have adult pampers issued?

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

We used too tuck over into socks not just for flash burns if you get my jist

David Barry
David Barry
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

More cahones than I ever had.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Oh dear now Sky News have Jumped in stating that China is saying ” Evil intentions by British Navy after ship sails through the Taiwan Straits ” NAAFI to stock Pampers super size LOL

Challenger
Challenger
16 days ago

Ballsy move, I love it!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
16 days ago

Where’s HMS Diamond at the mo – ?

Iain rougvie
Iain rougvie
16 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

It’s china’s home waters, how would you feel or the yanks if a Chinese battle group sailed up the channel, or St lawrence sea way,

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
14 days ago
Reply to  Iain rougvie

Morning, Iain, we’ve not chatted previously, I believe. Now, I know I’m getting on a bit, but have I forgotten the comment that you’ve responded to?

Andy a
Andy a
3 days ago
Reply to  Iain rougvie

In international waters? U mean like when Russia sends warships though the channel? China has previously as well!

AlexS
AlexS
16 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Indian Ocean probably.

Lusty
Lusty
16 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Last spotted at Diego Garcia.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
16 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Cheers

AlexS
AlexS
16 days ago

Good

AlexS
AlexS
16 days ago

Rumours say that the French will get the Greek Frigate contract with a defence pact.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Alex , Europe closing ranks, for European defence force it will end in tragedy pun sorry if the Helenic Navy wishes tòo be supplied with Frigates from France then it will just show that the EU well France is trying for an EU Navy an outcome that was edged on by what France sees as an Anglo pact Aukus

Pete
Pete
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Or it shows the French are continuing to back the Greeks in the rivalry with Turkey…and while they are at it win a few export orders.

OldSchool
OldSchool
16 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Yes. Mention of some Greece-France mutual defence pact involved – tho details not public.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Greece and Turkey although Nato Allies have been in friction for over a century Anyone would think that France is trying too show discourse between Nato countries with this proposed Pact , Then stating how Nato is now obsolete ?

AlexS
AlexS
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

The fact that these alliances are being made implies naturally the downgrade of NATO.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

.my thoughts exactly Alex, Instigated by France who only jumped on the Nato bandwagon after the fall of the Warsaw pact they can’t stand playing second Fiddle too us Anglo’s

AlexS
AlexS
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

The Aukus pact is too a downgrade of NATO.

It is confirmed that Greece signed a letter of intention to buy 3 FDI frigates.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Wouldn’t Nato Countries incorporate Australia into the Fold they did take part in Afghanistan and bush’s Iraq folly when I mean Nato countries I meant those dedicated to the principles of the Nato Allience, , France having signed the deal with Greece ,Could see Turkey turn North towards Russia for equipping their military The Greeks and Turks have had an wary unease of each other since 1923 and again in 74 with Cyprus This has nothing really tòo do with Shipbuilding it smells of Macron and sour grapes

Hermes
Hermes
14 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

France is part of NATO since the beginning (1949) as a founder…
Time to read something more accurate than your actual “source”.

Hermes
Hermes
14 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Happy to see some people use their brain, Pete.

pete
pete
14 days ago
Reply to  Hermes

Indeed. The French Greek issue is just, IMHO, a ploy to politically counter balance Turkeys growing ambition in Mediterranean and N Africa and commercially make some sales.

What France does with Germany and Poland (with an increasingly robust land capability) is more likely to be a barometer of a euro defense pact. I dont see Poland going anywhere other than staying in NATO anytime soon.

Crabfat
Crabfat
16 days ago

Wonder what the ROE are, if she was attacked? Very highly unlikely, but you never know, with the Chinese.

Nick
Nick
16 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

I would imagine self defence is allowed if she was attacked. But such an attack would be insanity unless China really wanted to start WW3. Especially with half the navy currently down there. Not to mention a load of other navies..

Frank62
Frank62
16 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Amethyst retuurned fire when attacked. As then I expect CCP would claim we fired first. But who knows what our ROE is.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

SHE only passed through the Taiwanese straits it’s not as She was up the Yangzee taking on Mao JSPs for ROEs I don’t think that China would play by the rules against Colonial imperial Warmongers such as US as their Press would report if they did , what’s that saying “Fools rush in”

Mark
Mark
16 days ago

Wonder if she accidentally spooled out the towed sonar array behind her and accidentally identified lots of new under water contacts. Maybe the real reason Chinese kicking up a stink.

Frank62
Frank62
16 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Maybe. No current Taiwan escorts have towed array sonars, just hull mounted apart from the 2 600t Tuo Chiang-class corvettes which have VDS, but USN Arleigh Burkes do & could just as easily & more likely mapped out anything in the straights.

Last edited 16 days ago by Frank62
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Only some ABs carry the tail fit.
They will not be as good as a T23 in seeing whats down there.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Apparently, you don’t need Sonar too locate Chinese Subs , if you stand on the upper deck and Listen you can locate and pinpoint them with ease (the sound of Chopsticks is a dead giveaway) .I do apologise if I have offended any TAS apes

Donald G McCully
Donald G McCully
16 days ago

China has no rights over international waters.

Frank62
Frank62
16 days ago

Great to show solidarity & support with Taiwan & to nullify all the bullying & posturing by the PRC. It’s the PRC playing with fire by trying to extend hegemony over its neighbors & threats to invade Taiwan. They have to be opposed with force as they don’t give a fig wether Taiwan wants to remain independant or not.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

The playground Bullie, doesn’t like it when others turn up for the bullied

Frank62
Frank62
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Exactly.

Dennis Kelly
Dennis Kelly
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Yes !!! and this is the only way to stand up for the bullied Together. International law will only be recognised by bullies if we stand Together for values.

Tommo
Tommo
14 days ago
Reply to  Dennis Kelly

Thank you Dennis ,Bullies usual cry “Foul” when confronted and then sulk they don’t like the taste of their own Medicine

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
15 days ago

👍

ROBERT WHITE
ROBERT WHITE
14 days ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Hooray for the HMS Richmond, her captain & crew!

DMJ
15 days ago

Greedy (even cheeky) CCP complaints, when the Strait of Taiwan is more than 80 miles (130 km) wide, even at its narrowest point.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

China doesn’t understand anything like that DMJj
They even added, Tiawan’s Olympic medals too their Tally so as it took Them top of the medal table now that’s being bloody Cheeky

DMJ
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Oh yes, I’d forgotten that. An example of the CCP in top form, rivalling the dire predictions of George Orwell’s 1984.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  DMJ

They already have the Chinese version of the thought Police with limited access too the world wide Web , (Internet) the next big fib will be that they invented Professional Football , to boot LOL

Puffing Billy
Puffing Billy
15 days ago

Having had the courage of going through the Taiwan Strait we can now look the Americans in the eye.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Puffing Billy

This could develop into what we as children would do too the Grumpy neighour “Knock down Ginger” oh I wonder who would be Mr Grumpy

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

It’s also like Scrumping without Apples

Puffing Billy
Puffing Billy
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Surely Mr Grumpy is Mr China? Dear old pug face dinner plate, Xi Jinping, won’t be too pleased. Nor will Mr Wang Wang Wang.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Puffing Billy

P. BILLY Do you think that this party’s just getting started could put a song too those lyrics, So long as it doesn’t end like a Greek wedding ie Plate smashing ooops

Chris
Chris
12 days ago
Reply to  Puffing Billy

The U.K. is punching above its weight world wide.

Wish we would do more (Canada), But we have the Prime Apologizer and things aren’t looking up.

Marc Palmarini
Marc Palmarini
15 days ago

If I were the President of the US i’d send a full CVN battle group straight through there and blast “America F#$k Yeah” lol

Tommo
Tommo
13 days ago
Reply to  Marc Palmarini

That’s what the World needs right now not a Film Actors Guild (FAG) But TEAM America no strings attached Marc

Del
Del
14 days ago

When you said the South China Sea, did you mean the West Philippine Sea??

Baldur Dasche
Baldur Dasche
12 days ago

Flying over or sailing alongside any vessel is not a breech of international law, or a ‘challenge’;. Challenges are issued when a vessel is stopped. As those NK vessels obserced to be breeching UN sanctions weren’t.

Last edited 12 days ago by Baldur Dasche
Baldur Dasche
Baldur Dasche
12 days ago

lying over or sailing alongside any vessel is not a breech of international law, or a ‘challenge’.

Challenges are issued when a vessel is stopped. As those NK vessels observed to be breaking UN sanctions weren’t.