After the Chinese navy warned off a French warship, which entered the Taiwan Strait earlier this month, Beijing had submitted an official protest to Paris over the move.
According to the Chinese Defense Ministry, the French warship “illegally entered China’s territorial waters” on April 7, 2019.
French Defense Ministry source as saying that the French navy “transits through the Taiwan Strait once a year on average without any incident or reaction”.
Paris, has, meanwhile, stressed that it affirms right to “freedom of shipping” amid spat with China over the Taiwan Strait passages,
French warship incident comes amid regular passages by US Navy ships through the strategic waterway.
The USA has stepped up patrol missions in the Taiwan Strait since summer 2018.
In late March, the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet said in a statement that they had sent the naval destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur and the Coast Guard cutter Bertholf through the Taiwan Strait.
In late January 2019, Washington sent the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell and the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Walter S. Diehl there in order to “demonstrate the US regime’s commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”.
The passage of 12 US warships takes place amid ongoing tensions between Washington and Beijing as the two remain engaged in the process of negotiating a trade deal.
The Taiwan Strait divides Taiwan from mainland China. Beijing considers Taiwan to be part of a united China.
Relations between the two sides were cut in 1949 after the remnants of Chiang Kai-shek’s forces fled to the island following their defeat on the mainland
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2019.