France Warship Sails Through The Taiwan Strait Angering China

Frigate Vendémiaire. Wikipedia

Business Insider/Reuters: France sailed a warship through the Taiwan Strait, so an angry China said France couldn't come to its navy's birthday party

* A French warship — apparently the frigate Vendemiaire — transited the closely-watched Taiwan Strait, a regional flashpoint, this month.
* In response, China uninvited France from participating in a naval parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of China's navy.
* The US routinely sends warships through the strait, an international waterway, despite repeated warnings from Beijing to tread lightly.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A French warship passed through the strategic Taiwan Strait this month, U.S. officials told Reuters, a rare voyage by a vessel of a European country that is likely to be welcomed by Washington but increase tensions with Beijing.

The passage is a sign that U.S. allies are increasingly asserting freedom of navigation in international waterways near China. It could open the door for other allies, such as Japan and Australia, to consider similar operations.

The French operation comes amid increasing tensions between the United States and China. Taiwan is one of a growing number of flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship, which also include a trade war, U.S. sanctions and China's increasingly muscular military posture in the South China Sea, where the United States also conducts freedom of navigation patrols.

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Update: China says navy warned off French warship in Taiwan Strait (France 24)

WNU Editor: China is not happy .... China withdraws PLA Navy anniversary invitation to French warship after Taiwan Strait trip (SCMP). More here .... China snubs France from PLA Navy parade after French warship transits Taiwan Strait (Taiwan News).

Hat tip Robert for this story.

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