Navy Warned Off French Warship in Taiwan Strait: China

WHO says infants aged under 1 year must not be exposed to electronic screens

WHO says infants aged under 1 year must not be exposed to electronic screens

A report in the South China Morning Post cites a source close to the PLA Navy leadership said China felt the French warship's journey into the strait was "obviously instigated" by the United States. The French warship's transit equally upset the Chinese, who retaliated by rescinding France's invitation to participate in a naval parade.

China's Defence Ministry said earlier that Beijing lodged stern representations with France about the passage, which comes as the United states and its allies increasingly assert freedom of navigation in worldwide waterways near China. It could open the door for other allies, such as Japan and Australia, to consider similar operations.

Background: The United States has been sending an increasing number of Navy and Coast Guard vessels through the strait and is exploring the possibility of sending aircraft carriers through the waterway as well.

The US diplomatically recognises China over Taiwan but remains the island's chief military ally and arms supplier. The official was not aware of any previous French military passage through the Taiwan Strait.

Xi Jinping at the naval parade celebrating 70th anniversary of Chinese Navy on April 23.

China said on Thursday it had lodged "stern representations" with France for what it called an "illegal" passage. "France reaffirms its attachment to the freedom of navigation in accordance with the law of the sea", the French defense ministry said in response to China's complaints.

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.

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The U.S. officials did not speculate on the goal of the passage or whether it was created to assert freedom of navigation. Beijing also urged Washington to handle Taiwan-related issues cautiously, while the U.S. considers the Taiwan Strait an global waterway.

The passage, which was confirmed by China.

China has significantly stepped up diplomatic and military pressure on Taiwan since Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016.

Chen Chung-chi, spokesman for Taiwan's defence ministry, told Reuters by phone the strait is part of busy global waters and it is "a necessity" for vessels from all countries to transit through it.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) Armed Forces has "overall and precise" information regarding all vessels passing through the waterway, regardless of whether they are military or civilian vessels, she said.

Among the attendees were the Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai (崔天凱) and the former Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Susan Thornton.

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