lørdag 13. mars 2021

French Warship Docks in Vietnam as Foreign Powers Step Up in South China Sea

A French frigate docked at Cam Ranh Port in Vietnam this week, the latest sign that foreign powers are pushing back against China’s assertive behavior and expansive claims in the South China Sea. In February, France’s defense minister announced that a French nuclear attack submarine and an accompanying support ship had completed a patrol in the South China Sea, and U.S. forces have repeatedly conducted “freedom of navigation operations” and other maneuvers in the contested waters since the start of the year.

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.