HMCS Vancouver navigates Taiwan Strait en route to Operation Neon

HMCS Vancouver

His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Vancouver’s CH-148 Cyclone, call sign ‘CANUCK’, lands on JS Izumo, a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force Destroyer, in the Philippine Sea during Operation Projection on Aug. 31.
Photo: Vancouver Air Detachment, Canadian Armed Forces

Kateryna Bandura, 
Lookout Editor

Following a recent port visit in Manila, Philippines, HMCS Vancouver sailed through the waters of the Taiwan Strait on Sept. 20, along with the destroyer USS Higgins, on its way into Operation (Op) Neon’s area of operation.

“Today’s routine Taiwan Strait transit demonstrates our commitment to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific,” Defence Minister Anita Anand said in a statement.

Anand said that, as a Pacific nation, Canada was deeply committed to upholding global stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Canada’s sanctions enforcement mission against North Korea, known as Operation Neon, began in 2018 and was extended last year until the end of April 2023. Canada and the U.S. sailed warships through the Strait in mid-October of 2021.

This sail was done in full accordance with international law, including high seas navigation rights as outlined in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The trip through the Strait takes eight to 12 hours.

The U.S. Navy reinforced that message in a statement posted on its Seventh Fleet website.

“The ships transited through a corridor in the Strait that is beyond the territorial sea of any coastal State,” it said. “Higgins’ and Vancouver’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

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