British frigate sails through Taiwan Strait

Britain's defense ministry has revealed that one of its frigates sailed through the Taiwan Strait.

HMS Richmond is part of the UK's carrier strike group headed by aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The group has conducted exercises in the Indo-Pacific region with countries including Japan and the United States. The aircraft carrier is currently navigating in waters near Guam.

Talking with NHK on Monday, a British defense ministry spokesperson confirmed the passage of HMS Richmond through the Taiwan Strait.

The spokesperson said the Royal Navy operates in line with international law wherever it operates. The official said that the effort represents the country's commitment to security in the Indo-Pacific region.

This was reportedly the first passage by a British naval vessel through the Taiwan Strait since 2019. US Navy vessels pass through the strait on a regular basis.

The defense ministry said HMS Richmond recently conducted operations in the East China Sea to support the enforcement of UN sanctions against North Korea.

A spokesperson for the Chinese People's Liberation Army's Eastern Theater Command on Monday criticized the passage of the British frigate as a "meaningless display of presence."

The spokesperson said the UK's move undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and exposes its "opportunistic mentality."

The official added that China would resolutely counter all threats and provocations.