The French frigate came to Cam Ranh Port on Tuesday for helicopter repairs, VnExpress reported. The French ambassador to Vietnam said that “the frigate’s visit at this time is meant to deliver a message in support of freedom of navigation in the air and at sea, which is shared by both Vietnam and France,” according to VnExpress.
Naval assets from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany are scheduledto transit the area later in 2021. It is home to a series of overlapping maritime and territorial claims among China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan. While Indonesia does not regard itself as party to the South China Sea dispute, Beijing claims historic rights to parts of that sea overlapping Indonesia's exclusive economic zone.