At the weekend, HMS Richmond escorted a trio of Chinese warships through the English Channel.

A Royal Navy spokesperson told The Sun and other papers:

“We can confirm that HMS Richmond has escorted a Chinese Navy Task Group through the UK area of interest.”

The fleet is heading to the Baltic Sea to exercise with Russian vessels.

The Dutch Navy also posted imagery of the vessels:

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“The UK enjoys positive relations with China and the Royal Navy has once again provided a secure escort around our shores.

The UK strongly supports the right of all States to exercise freedom of navigation in accordance with international law.”

Leave a Reply

10 Comment threads
4 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

We often read about HMS so-and-so escorting Russian–or in this case Chinese–warships through the Channel, but are they handed over to other NATO navies as a matter of routine as they leave our area, or is it mainly the RN that does this?


The Chinese ships really look the business – very modern and sleek.


Agreed Paul and I bet they don’t have to worry about loosing their ASMs next year with no replacement! Bloody ridiculous!! I bet they are just laughing at us…..


Why is public money wasted on escorting foreign warships in the open waters of the Channel? What would happen if these vessel weren’t escorted? Does Portugal escort vessels around the Atlantic Ocean past the Bay of Biscay? Does Ireland escort vessels passing nearby? Why are we wasting tax payers money on this?


Without wishing to sound insulting (as that is not my intention), I must ask why TH are you on this site? It’s clear you have no understanding of any thing defence related and merely wish moan about how much money is ‘wasted’ in the defence of the nation. If you really are concerned about the waste of public finances, then take a long hard look at Foreign Aid. The amount of money that Dept is sitting on waiting to be flushed down the toilet is nothing short of a national disgrace!


ignoring the bad press stories that would come up if they didn’t escort them, my guess is it also provides for valuable training time and probably a big of spying.

Jack Warner

The Chinese exercising with the Russians in the Baltic – interesting times!

David Stephen

This TH guy is comedy gold. I almost feel it’s to easy to skewer him. A bit like beating up a guy in a wheelchair, or stealing from a blind person.


I will be comedy gold David Stephen when very shortly the country is forced to face economic truths about the wasting of billions on vanity defence which cannot be afforded. The call for defence cuts is increasing. These ships are no longer needed. Coastal patrol boats for home defence would be more suitable and affordable and rest assured, that is what will eventually come. Do you honestly think we can sustain this waste? Could you run your personal affairs in this way?

Dave W N

I don’t see how you can come to the conclusion that we don’t need a stong navy. 70 years ago a country tried to starve us to death!! And although the world is by and large fuffy now. It’s arrogance and presumption of the highest order to asume that the world will stay as it is now. Sharply illustrating this point is trump in the states and the brexit vote..Clearly shocks to the the political world do happen world is in constant change. Better to have and not need. Rather than need and not have….. dont get me wrong i… Read more »

Nick Bowman

“The UK enjoys positive relations with China…”. In this context it sounds as though Mr. Fallon is trying to convince us of something that doesn’t quite feel true. The Russians are clearly the focal point of NATO’s European efforts. Containment of China is clearly the main objective of US military efforts in the Pacific. The Chinese and the Russians are now routinely conducting combined military exercises around the globe. Mr Fallon, if I were you, I’d make my plans on the assumption that there is an increasing likelihood that Russia and China will work in concert to take aggressive action… Read more »

Mr Bell

Agree Nick Bowman. The fact the Chinese can send a task force 15000 miles to the other side of the world to exercise with the Russians northern and Baltic fleet units is a new development. It does demonstrate the growing confidence of the Chinese and their increasing capabilities. Russia and China together would be a very serious threat to NATO with NATOs European powers hard pushed to meet the Russian northern and Baltic fleets whilst the US struggles to contain China. We need a much more capable and larger royal navy. This is not a waste of public money, this… Read more »

Howard Newman

I think we should ask Mr TH living in his pink and fluffy world how much of our trade, food and energy resources comes by sea through far off and often disputed sea lanes. I’ll guarantee he won’t have a clue. His assertions that the majority don’t want more defence spending also places him in a dream world of his own desires with no knowledge of what’s going on elsewhere or could happen over the next fifty years or less.

[…] these rights is no different to the navy of any other country in the world (Chinese ships recently transited through the Dover Straits on their way to conduct exercises in the Baltic, a practice also seen from Russian ships). However, […]