Alwaght- China recently warned a French warship that intruded into its territorial waters.
China said on Thursday it had lodged “stern representations” with France for what it called an “illegal” passage.
“China’s military sent navy ships in accordance with the law and the rules to identify the French ship and warn it to leave,” defense ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang told a regularly scheduled media briefing, while declining to say if the sailing had led to the withdrawal of France’s invitation to the parade of ships this week.
“China’s military will stay alert to firmly safeguard China’s sovereignty and security,” he said.
According to reports, a French warship passed through the strategic Taiwan Strait this month, a rare voyage by a vessel of a European country that is set to increase tensions with Beijing.
The French operation comes amid increasing tensions between the United States and China. Taiwan is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the US-China relationship, which also include a trade war, US sanctions and China’s increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea, where the United States also conducts freedom of navigation patrols.
Two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said a French military vessel carried out the transit in the narrow waterway between China and Taiwan on April 6.
One of the officials identified the warship as the French frigate Vendemiaire and said it was shadowed by the Chinese military.
As a result of the illegal passage, China notified France it was no longer invited to a naval parade to mark the 70 years since the founding of China’s Navy.