Chinese navy warns off French warship in Taiwan Strait

Chinese navy warns off French warship in Taiwan Strait

The development comes after Taiwan scrambled aircrafts late last month to “drive away” two Chinese fighter jets which it said flew past a maritime border in the Taiwan Strait.

The Chinese navy warned off a French warship which entered the Taiwan Strait earlier this month, Beijing said on Thursday, adding that it submitted an official protest to Paris over the move.

According to the Chinese Defence Ministry, the French warship “illegally entered China’s territorial waters” on 7 April.

This comes after Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) said earlier this month that two Chinese J-11 fighter jets crossed the Taiwan Strait’s “median line” on 31 March, prompting Taipei to scramble several aircraft in order to intercept the warplanes.

Also, the 7 April French warship passage comes amid regular passages by US Navy ships through the strategic waterway. 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.

The statement pointed out that the ships “conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit [on] March 24-25 (local time) in accordance with international law”.

The passages upset China, which claims self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory. Beijing has been ramping up pressure to assert its sovereignty over the island.

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