France in contact with China over warship's Taiwan Strait passage

27 Avril, 2019, 14:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • France in contact with China over warship's Taiwan Strait passage

Asked how China viewed the participation of the Indian Navy ships, Chinese defence ministry spokesman Col Ren Guochang told a media briefing that more than 60 countries sent their naval delegations and 13 countries have sent their ships to take part in the review.

In transiting the strait, France has joined the United States, which frequently sails through the waterway to increase pressure on China as part of a broader strategy to confront Beijing in the Asia-Pacific region.

A French warship passed through the strategic Taiwan Strait this month as France on Thursday reaffirmed its commitment to "freedom of navigation under maritime law" following a spat with China over the passage of a French warship through the Taiwan Strait earlier this month.

He said the Chinese military has steadfast determination, full confidence and sufficient capacity to defeat any forms of external interference and Taiwan separatist acts, firmly defend China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and safeguard peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

One of the officials identified the warship as the French frigate Vendemiaire and said it was shadowed by the Chinese military. Taiwan is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.

"The (French) national navy crosses the Taiwan Strait about once a year, without any incident nor reaction", an aide to French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said after China confirmed lodging an official protest over what was seen as a rare passage by a warship from a European power.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ships navigating through the strait between mainland China and the self-ruled island has been a source of tension with Beijing for quite a while.

By doing so, Chieh interpreted that as Washington sending a message to Beijing and all its allies that the Taiwan Strait is not under China's control.

"This is an important development both because of the transit itself but also because it reflects a more geopolitical approach by France towards China and the broader Asia-Pacific", said Abraham Denmark, a former US deputy assistant secretary of defence for East Asia.

Last month, France and China signed deals worth billions of euros during a visit to Paris by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Chinese military expressed firm opposition on Wednesday to a planned USA arms sales to China's Taiwan, and lodged solemn representations to the U.S.

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