China condemned the British Royal Navy frigate HMS Richmond on Monday for sailing through the Taiwan Strait and announced two days of military training in the region.
The country’s Defense Ministry said soon after the HMS Richmond passed through the strait that the Eastern Theater Command of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent its naval and air forces to “track and monitor the British warship in the whole course.”
Senior Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command, said in a statement that the British side “has tried in vain to create a sense of presence by sending its military vessel to pass through the Taiwan Strait.” He said the frigate "openly hyped it up."
The HMS Richmond in a Twitter statement said it was “en route through the Taiwan Strait to visit Vietnam and the Vietnam People's Navy,” calling its naval trip “a busy period working with partners and allies in the East China Sea.
“Such ill-intentioned behavior undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and fully exposes its speculative mentality,” Colonel Shi added.
Meanwhile, East China’s Zhejiang Maritime Safety Administration in a statement to the Chinese daily Global Times announced that military training will be held in parts of the East China Sea from Sept. 28-29.
The announcement came soon after the British frigate announced its trip to the region.
“Troops of the PLA Eastern Theater Command are staying on high alert at all times and will resolutely counter all threats and provocations,” Shi stressed./agencies