France Ignores Beijing, Says The Strait Is For All
Communist China's aggression in the Indo-Pacific region is increasing, French Admiral stated.
The Taiwan Strait is international waters, and France would sail through it if it deems such action necessary, a French naval commander said in an interview with a Tahitian newspaper on Thursday.
During the interview, Rear Admiral Jean-Mathieu Rey, joint commander of the French Armed Forces in the Asia-Pacific, spoke about tensions between France and Communist China, as well as France’s cooperation with Southeast Asian countries.
Communist China's aggression in the Indo-Pacific region is increasing, and Chinese military vessels and aircraft have frequently contravened international rules, he said.
The issue is of growing concern to France due to its territories in the region, which are home to 2 million French nationals spread over an area of 9 million square kilometers, he said.
It is also the reason the French military is present in the Indo-Pacific region, he added.
Asked how France should respond to Communist China’s increasingly frequent territorial claims in the Asia-Pacific region, Mr. Rey said that when China or other countries make erroneous assertions, the first priority is to respond immediately.
Beijing Regime's Sovereign Rights False Claim
For example, Communist China recently claimed to have “sovereign rights” over the Taiwan Strait, which is “completely wrong,” as the Taiwan Strait is “an international strait,” Mr. Rey said, adding that the only waters under Beijing regime's sovereignty are the 12 nautical miles, that is about 22km, from its shores that constitute its territorial waters.
So the first thing is to react to these assertions including through the presence of vessels and aircraft to see what is happening there and to reaffirm freedom of navigation, he said. So when we need to go through places like the Taiwan Strait, we don’t hesitate to do so, French Admiral added.
Despite its interests in the region, Admiral Rey said the French Navy has regularly encountered harassment through illegal actions by the Communist China's military.